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SIX WAYS SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN

Most people know they should cut calories and exercise more to trim down, but there’s now significant scientific evidence that another critical component to maintaining your natural normal weight  is avoiding sleep deprivation, sleep scientists say.

“There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain,” says Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health . She has spent 15 years studying the topic.

Here are six specific ways sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain.

  1. When you are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.
  2. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.
  3. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.
  4. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
  5. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down.
  6. Your body goes into survival mode. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger. Your metabolism slows because your body is trying to maintain its resources, and it also wants more fuel.

Melatonin and Migraines

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone. In humans, melatonin is produced in several tissues, including the brain (pineal gland), retina, and GI tract. In the brain, melatonin synthesis is stimulated by darkness. Once synthesized, it enters the blood stream and acts as an endocrine hormone involved in sleep regulation and a number of other cyclical physiological functions. Daily biological rhythms thought to be influenced by melatonin include activity and sleep, core body temperature, immune function, antioxidant defenses, blood pressure, feeding, and glucose regulation.

Please note that melatonin supplements are not sleeping pills. Oral melatonin supplements support the human body’s natural circadian rhythms and promote healthy sleep. When taken an hour before bedtime, melatonin supports the natural rise in melatonin that typically occurs before sleep.

The role of melatonin is not limited only to sleep. No single therapy works for everybody, but here is some very recent research to consider if you suffer from migraine headaches.

A recently published clinical trial shows that taking melatonin (3 mg) at bedtime for 12 weeks is as effective for migraine prevention as a commonly used medication called amitriptyline (25 mg). The trial compared the use of melatonin, amitriptyline and placebo once daily in people with 2-8 migraine attacks monthly. Melatonin reduced headache days by 2.7 compared to 2.2 days for those receiving amitriptyline. In addition, melatonin cut migraine frequency in half for more patients than those taking amitriptyline. Melatonin was as well tolerated as placebo and resulted in fewer side effects than amitriptyline.

Study conclusion:

“Melatonin 3 mg is effective and better than placebo for migraine prevention. Melatonin is as effective as amitriptyline 25 mg in the primary end point, but better than amitriptyline in the secondary end point (50% responder rate, patients with a higher than 50% improvement in headache frequency). It is more tolerable than amitriptyline 25 mg.”

SOURCE  USANA ask the scientists – health and science education

Full paper:

http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2016/05/10/jnnp-2016-313458.full

 

How to Eat Smart During Holiday Parties

party-photoIt’s holiday season! That means lots of delicious food everywhere! Do you struggle with what to eat at these events? Do you find it hard to make healthy choices? I’m here to help! The best way to walk into a party is with a game plan.

Below are 10 things you can do to help you avoid a food hangover.

  1. Sleep Well – A recent study found that after a short night’s sleep adults ate about an extra 300 calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods. When women lack sleep they may feel less full after eating, while men tend to have an increased appetite. By getting your zzzs, you’ll save calories and make healthier choices.
  2. Eat a high fiber snack before you go. (it’s the same reason why I tell people not to go to the grocery store hungry). Eat a snack before you go. Greek yogurt and vegetables or even have a protein shake! That way those tempting high calorie foods will not be as tempting.
  3. Hydrate before you go – drink lots of water all through the holidays. Often we think we are hungry but in fact we are dehydrated.
  4. Bring a healthy appetizer to the party, so you’ll know there’ll be at least one option you can load on your plate.
  5. Downsize your plate to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more. Use an appetizer or salad plate instead of a dinner plate and eat 40 percent less, cutting 1,200 calories.
  6. Choose Wisely – Research suggests that you’ll consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so set yourself up for success by starting with something low-calorie. Try fresh veggies and hummus.
  7. Place a big salad or vegetables on your plate. Fill up your holiday plate with healthy foods first so there isn’t room for those other foods. Then you will look down and realize that your plate is already full.
  8. Chew your food longer and eat slower – Your brain will think you’ve eaten more. So nibble, don’t gobble. By taking smaller bites and chewing more, you’ll naturally eat less.
  9. Be strategic about alcohol. Did you know that soda is loaded with empty calories? Alcohol not only adds calories but also loosens your resolve to stay healthy. Stick to wine or spritzers and if you have a cocktail, go for one that is mixed with club soda or tonic water. If you have a juice-based drink, ask the bartender to put a spritz of seltzer in with it. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. This will help keep you hydrated.
  10. Move away from the food table so you don’t graze. Try to focus on the event and not the food. Spend time talking to people.