Friday, November 22, 2013

Hot Topics-Wake Up!

We know good sleep is linked to good health and we have heard adequate sleep is linked to a healthier body weight.  But a recent study shows women who woke up around the same time each day, within a 60 minute range, had lower body fat (American Journal of Health Promotion). Consistent bed times and especially, consistent wake times, were associated with lower body fat.

The sleep habits of 300 university women were tracked and those with consistent sleep schedules had lower body fat.  Sleep hygiene” is a term comparable to dental hygiene – all the things we do to have good, healthy sleep habits and patterns.  Altered sleep hygiene disrupts physical activity, hormones, food consumption, and thus body fat.

Researchers also found a sweet spot for the ideal amount of sleep for the young adults (ages 17-26) in this study:  Those who slept between 8 and 8.5 hours per night had the lowest body fat. Interestingly, less than 6.5 or more than 8.5 hours of sleep per night was associated with higher body fat.
Personally, when I honor my natural circadian rhythm, which is early to bed and early to rise, even on weekends, I feel better.  Since a consistent wake time was particularly linked to having lower body fat, set that alarm, enjoy the sunrise, and start your day!


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