Sleep and Weight Gain

sleep

So many of our patients are concerned about their weight. While most of them are searching for a diet and exercise plan to follow, we are telling them to start with a good night’s sleep. Here’s why.

According to a study published in Annals of Medicine, short sleep duration has been associated with elevated BMI. There are other studies giving even more reasons to work on getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night:

  • Diabetes prevention: less than 7 hrs of sleep leads to insulin resistance and leptin reduction (that means poor sugar regulation and increased appetite)
  • Stress reduction: less than 7 rs of sleep leads to elevated cortisol
  • Dementia prevention: short sleep duration is associated with greater age-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline
  • Sounding smart: higher sleep continuity (staying asleep, regular sleep/wake times) leads to better performance, inhibitory control, memory recall and verbal fluency

How do you know if your sleep isn’t ideal?

  • you wake during the night to normal household sounds (like snoring, yes)
  • it takes you more than 20 minutes to fall asleep (or you fall asleep in less than 5 minutes)
  • you wake very early in the morning and cannot fall back to sleep

What can you do?

  1. Begin a mindfulness meditation program (read our previous blog here)
  2. Go to bed at the same time each night, preferably before 11 pm
  3. Keep your room pitch black to support melatonin production

If you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of continuous sleep, consider talking to one of our doctors during a free meet-the-doctor session. There are many effective natural solutions available.

Book online, or call the office 705-792-6717

Yours in Health,

Dr. Kerri Fullerton ND & Dr. Whitney Young ND

 

Natural treatment for insomnia

We often enquire about our patients sleep as it is integral to good health. Far too often, our patients report sleep disturbance or insomnia (either being unable to fall asleep or waking in the night). So when we came across this study published in JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Feb. we had to share.

meditate to sleep

This study compared Mindfulness Meditation to Sleep Hygiene Education (the implementation of proper sleep habits like dark rooms and no TV’s).

After one year, the meditation group had significant improvement in:

  • insomnia symptoms
  • depressive symptoms
  • fatigue
  • inflammatory markers

So how do you start? Check out some of these resources and begin your mindful journey to better sleep and better health.

If you are local to Barrie and looking for classes, check out:

There is also a free online program available.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Kerri Fullerton ND & Dr. Whitney Young ND

 

Sleep and behaviour in children

Getting yourself and your children into a healthy sleep routine is key to improving mood and behaviour.

A study published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics revealed the following:

A cohort study of almost 9000 preschool-aged children showed that those who averaged fewer than 9 hours of sleep per night were significantly more likely to show impulsivity, anger, and overactivity and to have tantrums than their peers who averaged more nightly sleep.  The children with less sleep were also 80% more likely to show aggression.

If your child is having behavioral issues, start moving bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each week.  If your child is having difficulty getting to or staying asleep, book an assessment and let’s work together to see what can be done.