7 Health Issues Linked With Poor Sleep

Sleep is important. Period. However, we often abuse our sleeping pattern without realizing its effects. Everyone has faced trouble falling asleep at one point or another. To get a better idea, let’s look at some numbers:

22% of people sleep poorly most nights.

47% of people say stress or worry keeps them awake at night.

49% of people have never taken steps to help them sleep.

Poor sleep can cost you much more than you think. It may have long-term consequences on your health and mental well-being. Read on to know how poor sleep affects your health;

7 Health Issues Linked to Poor Sleep

1. Obesity- There are several studies that have linked insufficient sleep to obesity. According to these studies, sleeping for less than five hours or more than nine hours every night can result in weight gain. The reason behind is believed to be the imbalance in hormones. Moreover, lack of sleep leads to fatigue and results in less physical activity.

2. Diabetes – Researchers have found that sleep deprivation may influence the way our body processes glucose, which could lead to type 2 Diabetes. It is believed that poor sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and vice-versa.  If a person’s blood sugar levels are either too high or too low at night, he is more likely to feel tired the next day and prefer to eat unhealthy foods.

3. Heart Disease and Hypertension – Even a single night of insufficient sleep for people with hypertension can cause blood pressure to elevate. Not getting enough sleep puts you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of your age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.

4. Mood Disorders – Sleep and mood are very much related. Not only does poor sleep puts you in a bad mood, but mood can also affect your sleep. Long term sleep disorders have been linked to depression, anxiety and mental stress.

5. Immune Function – Although there is no direct connection, but a lack of sleep does affect your immune system.  Studies tell us that people with insufficient sleep or irregular sleep pattern is more likely to fall sick after being exposed to a virus such as the common cold virus. It can also affect how fast your body will recover if you do get sick.

6. Alcohol – As many would say that alcohol puts one to a good night’s sleep, but overdoing it can affect the quality of your sleep. Since alcohol is diuretic, it encourages the body to lose extra fluids which can make you dehydrated. Moreover, drinking can make you snore more loudly.

7. Life Expectancy – Researchers say that sleep deprivation is linked to shorter life spans. According to a study, sleeping less than six hours a night makes you 12% more likely to die prematurely than someone who gets regular sleep. Getting enough sleep will improve your overall health and boost your longevity.

Reasons That You’re Not Losing Weight

Reasons That You’re Not Losing Weight

Are you fed up that all your efforts to lose weight are not working? After months of exercising and dieting, you’re still not getting the results you aimed for? Well, the answer could be hidden amidst your daily schedule. Here are some common reasons that are coming between you and your aim of losing weight.

1. Not following proper diet – As we all know, exercise alone can’t help in weight loss. You need to follow a proper diet as well. To do this, know what you’re eating by keeping a journal and using an app which suggests healthy foods to eat. But remember, diet does not mean starving; eating healthy is the way to go.

2. High calorie intake – Do you lose control when you see your favorite chocolate ice-cream? If yes, then you’re losing the count on your calories too. A lot of us choose to ignore the calorie count of the foods we are eating and hence losing weight becomes a challenge. Try to keep a check on your calorie intake which can be done by using a calorie counting app.

3. Not sleeping well – Sleep is very important for losing weight too. Don’t be surprised if we tell you that one of the reasons behind obesity is poor sleep. Studies show that people with poor sleep are 55% more likely to become obese. Therefore, you need to sleep well in order to lose weight.

4. Too much alcohol consumption – Did you know that alcohol has 7 calories per gram? Tobe precise, alcohol and weight loss are enemies. If you are a heavy drinker, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans. However, drinking moderately is fine.

5. Not drinking enough water – It’s a fact that drinking water can make you burn more calories. In fact, drinking water before meals can reduce appetite and aid in weight loss. Moreover, it speeds up the digestion process and thereby helps break down the food so that the body can absorb the nutrients.

6. Eating too much junk food – Every cell in your body is made from the food you eat. If you consistently eat junk food, you’ll have a junk body. Cut down on junk foods to lose weight more quickly.

7. Medical issues – There are certain health issues which make you gain weight instead of losing.  Depression, thyroid, diabetes are some of them. If you have  any of these, consult your doctor.

8. Impatience – Weight loss is a journey which requires patience and dedication. Also, having realistic targets will motivate you further to continue on this journey.

How To Trick Your Brain To Curb Those Cravings

How To Trick Your Brain To Curb Those Cravings

We all have cravings for our favorite foods, indulging ourselves into overeating and then regretting it later. Boredom is one of its biggest culprits, others being emotional issues, hormonal reasons or dehydration, etc. Everyone knows there are times when cravings get the better of us, but there are ways that might help fight them. We have come up with some simple tricks that might help in staving off the unnecessary hunger that slows us down and affects our weight-loss efforts.

1. Drink Water – On many occasions our brain gets confused between hunger and thirst. So the next time you crave for something, drink a glass of water and see if you still feel hungry. If you don’t feel hungry afterwards, it means you were thirsty, not hungry.

2. Increase your protein intake – Proteins help in reducing the appetite and hence the cravings. Nutritionists and dieticians recommend a high protein diet, especially breakfast, to all those who are working out to lose weight as it helps them feel full and satisfied for a longer duration.

3. Spinach extract – A study shows that this green juice made from spinach leaves decreases hunger by up to 95% and also helps in weight loss. It basically reduces the level of hormones that play a role in appetite and hunger.

4. Distract yourself – Cravings typically last for 5-10 minutes. And for those few minutes, you need to put a stop to your chain of thoughts about food. So, the next time you crave for your favorite ice cream or chocolate, try distracting your mind by calling a friend or listening to some music you like.

5. Chew Gum – Chewing gum is a good option to keep your cravings under control. Many dieticians advise that popping a sugar-free gum in your mouth can help in eliminating your food imagination.

6. Brush your teeth – If you’re at home, brushing your teeth at odd hours is one of the tricks to avoid snacking. It tricks your brain into thinking something sweet has been ingested. You will not only stave off hunger by this trick, but also have clean teeth and fresh breath.

7. Go for low-calorie foods – If you still can’t outsmart your cravings, make healthier food choices like low-calorie products. For instance, if you’re craving a chocolate bar, instead go for a nutrition rich bar which is tasty as well as healthy. Furthermore, you can also cut down on the quantity you eat.