Sleep, Diet and Exercise; Key to Your Fitness Goals
Summer and swimsuit season are right around the corner. Did you know that a good night's sleep can help you slim down and maintain an ideal body weight? Sleep deprivation may inhibit one's ability to lose weight - even while exercising and eating well! Sleep, diet, and exercise should be all be a part of your fitness plan.
A 1999 study at the University of Chicago showed that restricting sleep to just 4 hours per night for a week brought healthy young adults to the point that some had the glucose and insulin characteristics of diabetics.
Research by Dr. Van Cauter found that people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites due to the fact that their leptin levels (leptin is an appetite regulating hormone) fall, promoting appetite increase. This link between appetite and sleep provides further evidence that sleep and obesity are linked.
Though research shows that exercise is certainly good for one's body and health, properly timing exercise is necessary to maximize the beneficial effects. For example, a good workout can make you more alert, speed up your metabolism, and energize you for the day ahead, but exercise right before bedtime can lead to a poor night's sleep. For those who are physically fit, the timing of the exercise generally doesn't make any difference.
According to Dr. Richard Simon of Medical Director of the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center at St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, WA, the data on improving quality of life through exercise is better than the data on dieting. If you don't exercise regularly, add good sleep to a long list of reasons why you should take up the habit.
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