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Sleep More – Weigh Less

SleepWeightJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Interestingly, one of the easiest weight maintenance rules to follow may be getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Mounting evidence shows that those struggling with weight gain may need to optimize their sleep schedules to see a more favorable number on the scale. It’s well known that controlled healthy eating and regular exercise are the top strategies for weight loss and maintenance. To avoid weight gain, prioritizing sleep may be considered an equally important approach, as inadequate sleep is associated with increased body weight and the risk for obesity. Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley who studies the effects of sleep on weight, has found that “getting a full night’s sleep is one of the most under-appreciated factors contributing to healthy weight maintenance.”

It appears that our sleep habits directly affect diet and appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago compared those who slept only four and one-half hours to those who slept eight hours. They found that the those who skimped on sleep did not skimp on calories the next day. In fact, quite the opposite. The short sleepers consumed an additional 400 calories and ate twice the amount of fat and protein, as compared to those who slept an optimal eight hours. Sleep deprivation results in blood alterations of certain lipids, as well as appetite regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Controlled studies have shown that deficient sleep leads to decreases in leptin, the satiety hormone, while ghrelin, the hunger and appetite hormone, increases. Recently, it has come to light that less than optimal sleep also results in changes to a lipid known as 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2AG), an endocannabinoid.

The endocannabinoid system is a unique and ubiquitous cell-signaling system that is just beginning to be understood. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the discovery of endocannabinoids has led to studies on their potential involvement in the physiological control of appetite and energy metabolism. The findings of three large multicenter clinical trials strongly support a pathogenic role of increased endocannabinoid activity in obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities. Studies support that endocannabinoids play a key role in memory, mood, and the brain reward systems, as well as glucose metabolism and energy balance.

Epidemiologic studies established the link between sleep deprivation and its influence on energy balance and body weight regulation processes. While a longer wake cycle results in a slight increase in energy expenditure, it can lead to disproportionate calorie consumption, decreased physical activity and weight gain. The possible involvement of reward system mechanisms may trigger increased unhealthy food intake following sleep restriction. A randomized study showed sleep restriction resulted in increased circulating concentrations of 2AG, widely expressed in the brain’s reward centers and in metabolic organs that stimulate food intake and fat lipogenesis, the metabolic formation of fat.

  • Habitual sleep loss is a major risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Generally, weight gain may occur when one gets fewer than seven hours of sleep nightly. When trying to lose or maintain weight, optimal amounts of healthy sleep may be just as crucial as diet and exercise.
  • Poor sleep causes a disruption of appetite, reward and stress hormones, resulting in increased appetite and negatively affecting the ability to make healthy food choices and control portion sizes.
  • Lack of sleep can result in daytime fatigue and deceased motivation to exercise. Sufficient healthy sleep helps to improve mental and physical performance.
  • Adequate sleep can refresh brain circuits that allow for more optimal food choices, leading to weight control rather than weight gain.
  • Just as inadequate sleep negatively affects energy levels, sufficient sleep can help provide the energy necessary for physical activity.
  • The right amount of sleep encourages proper stress and appetite hormone regulation, as well as a healthy metabolism, the amount of energy the body burns to maintain all cellular processes.
  • Adequate sleep, along with healthy diet and exercise, supports optimal health and decreased risk of developing obesity, diabetes type 2, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to support healthy sleep and weight maintenance:

Kavinace Ultra PMKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience™: This top-selling sleep product specifically targets neurotransmitter imbalances with a unique combination of neurotransmitter precursors, herbal ingredients and enzymatic cofactors that provide effective support for restful sleep. Gluten, soy, yeast and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Adipo-Leptin...Adipo-Leptin Benefits™ by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont: This product offers evidence-based ingredients that support hormone balance relative to appetite and weight management. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

5HTP Supreme5-HTP Supreme™ by Designs for Health: This higher dosage product supplies vitamin B6 and 5-HTP in support of appetite control, reduced cravings, insomnia, improved mood and overall neurotransmitter metabolism. Wheat, soy, dairy and preservative free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. This product is not recommended for those taking SSRI’s or MAO inhibitors.

 

Melatonin PR 3 mg...Melatonin PR 3 mg Prolonged Release by Douglas Laboratories: This natural hormone nutrient helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle, supports normal immune function, and provides free radical protection. One serving provides 3 mg of pure pharmaceutical grade melatonin in a prolonged release tablet. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free vegan formulation.

References:
Molecular ties between lack of sleep and weight gain. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/molecular-ties-between-lack-sleep-weight-gain
The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2241751/
Endocannabinoids. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1361971-overview#a1
Hungry for Sleep: A Role for Endocannabinoids? https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/39/3/495/2453912/Hungry-for-Sleep-A-Role-for-Endocannabinoids
Metabolic effects of sleep disruption, links to obesity and diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24937041
Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake and weight gain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24937041
Does Your Sleeping Schedule Affect Your Metabolism? http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sleeping-schedule-affect-metabolism-8571.html
Sleep restriction leads to increased activation of brain regions sensitive to food stimuli. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22357722

 

 

For Long Term Health, Make Sleep a Priority

SleepPriorityJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

As it is estimated that 50 –70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, it’s safe to say that many of us know how exactly how it feels to lose a night or two of sleep. In the short term, inadequate sleep can impair judgment and mental clarity, and negatively affect efficiency, mood, and physical safety. In the long term, sleep loss and sleep disorders have a profound effect on human health. The price we pay for insufficient sleep is an increased risk of chronic disease, overall poor health, and even early mortality. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences, including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack and stroke.

Is there an amount of sleep that is considered ideal? While the general recommendation for adults is to strive for seven to eight hours nightly, sleep needs are individual and vary by age, lifestyle and state of health. In other words, infants, toddlers, children and teens require more sleep than adults and the elderly may require less. And then there are those who proclaim that the need for continuous seven to eight hour nightly sleep is a myth and that there are underexplored variations of daily sleep, such as shorter sleep/wake cycles with naps in between, similar to our how our ancestors lived before the advent of electricity. However, it’s believed that only about three percent of the population can get by with just a few hours of nightly sleep without experiencing ill effects. While it’s well documented that short naps are beneficial, many of us don’t have the luxury of time to indulge in them.

History tells us that sleep patterns change, although our need for sleep does not. From the ancient Greeks and Romans who worshipped powerful sleep deities, to Aristotle who concluded that sleep was a time of physical renewal, to King Louis XIV who held court while reclining in one of his many beds, to Napoleon Bonaparte who prescribed “six hours of sleep for a man, seven for a woman and eight for a fool,“ to the present day advice, sleep has been a necessary part of life since the dawn on time. While Aristotle may have believed the “seat of consciousness resided in the heart, and that sleep was a direct result of warm vapors rising from the stomach during digestion,” we now know that sleep is a highly active process during which the day’s events are processed, memories are stored, the body is rejuvenated and energy is restored.

According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, we have two internal systems that regulate when we sleep and when we are awake. These two systems work independently and under normal conditions produce consolidated periods of wakefulness and sleep, but they can become misaligned when we stay up past our usual bedtime, work shift work, are jet lagged, suffer from a sleep disorder, or are under a lot of stress. When we disconnect from the natural cycles of activity and sleep, chronic sleep deprivation can result. Despite the fact that sleep loss is considered by some to be a public health issue, the management and treatment of sleep is not often addressed. Those who struggle with insomnia, sleep apnea, chronic pain, restless leg syndrome and other sleep difficulties may want to seek a consultation with their health care provider or a sleep behavioral specialist. For those of us who don’t prioritize or can’t manage to get regular heathy sleep, the most effective treatment may be a simple understanding of proper sleep habits that enable us to get better rest. Just as we have bedtime routines for our children, establishing a regular and relaxing routine can be a very helpful way to transition into sleep.

Good sleep habits begin way before sundown. Experts recommend no caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime, no alcohol within 3 hours, no exercise or food within 2 -3 hours and no electronics during the last hour before bed. The following simple tips help to establish a routine to aid healthy sleep:

  • To improve your sleep patterns, establish a consistent bedtime routine, and as often as possible go to bed at the same time each night. Sleep is a behavior that can be reinforced positively or negatively. Learn to put yourself to sleep by following better sleep guidelines.
  • If you have trouble sleeping, limit naps to 20 minutes and take them early in the afternoon. Although there are differing opinions regarding the benefits of sleeping in on the weekends, if you are exhausted, sleep.
  • Allow time to transition from activity to sleep. Take the last 30-60 minutes before bed to unwind and relax. You can try reading, taking a bath, stretching, listening to music, meditating, enjoying a cup of herbal tea or anything else that works to calm your mind.
  • Avoid overstimulating activities including high intensity exercise, surfing the internet and late night television. In addition to stimulating the mind, light from devices can interfere with your internal body clock.
  • If you are stressed and worried about the next day’s activities, you won’t fall into a restful sleep. Writing down your thoughts or a plan for the next day’s activities, will help to put your mind at ease so you can rest.
  • Start dimming the lights at least 30 minutes before retiring to allow the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to control sleep/wake cycles. Optimize your light exposure during the day, especially first thing in the morning, and minimize light exposure after dark.
  • Once in bed, if you find you are still awake after 30 minutes, ease your frustration by getting up and repeating parts of your bedtime ritual. Keep lighting soft and go back to bed when feeling sleepy.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to aid restorative sleep:

Kavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScienceKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience – This very popular proprietary blend is designed to support calming hormones and neurotransmitters to promote normal, healthy, restorative sleep and relieve symptoms of anxiousness, irritability and stress. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formula.

 

Sleep Aide by Vital NutrientsSleep Aide by Vital Nutrients – This botanical blend contains valerian and lemon balm, two of the most studied herbs shown to support occasional restless sleep. Additional ingredients and herbals relieve occasional tenseness and irritability, and provide safe, natural calming support for the central nervous system to encourage restful sleep. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

Melatonin PR 3 mg Prolonged-Release (83199-) by Douglas LaboratoriesMelatonin PR by Douglas Laboratories – One serving provides 3 mg of pharmaceutical grade, prolonged-release melatonin, a natural hormone that appears to regulate sleep/wake cycles, support normal immune function and provide free radical protection. Gluten and soy free, vegan formula.

 

5HTP Supreme by Designs for Health

5HTP Supreme by Designs for Health – As a precursor to serotonin production, 5HTP helps to naturally restore serotonin levels to promote healthy mood, reduce food cravings and aid health sleep.

 

References:
Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/
Consequences of Insufficient Sleep. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Nightly 8-Hour Sleep Isn’t a Rule. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201403/nightly-8-hour-sleep-isnt-rule-its-myth
Historical and Cultural Perspectives of Sleep. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/history

 

 

 

Sleepless Nights? We Have Solutions

SleepSolutionsJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

Almost everyone has occasional bouts of sleeplessness, typically due to stress, anxiety, worry or overstimulation. This is normal and shouldn’t further add to your list of things to worry about, as what’s classified as acute insomnia is usually of brief duration and generally resolves itself. According to the National Institutes of Health, insomnia is a very common problem that affects approximately 30% of Americans. This occasional sleep disruption may result in symptoms such as fatigue, low energy or difficulty concentrating, which can affect your next day’s performance at work or at school. Daily life challenges, emotional upset, grief, hormonal imbalances and unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as overuse of caffeine, tobacco and alcohol, are all believed to contribute to poor quality sleep. While insomnia can occur at any age, women, middle-aged and older adults appear to be at increased risk of sleep disorders.  

Video Sleepless Nights

Chronic insomnia, however, can affect not only your mood and alertness, but also your overall health, your weight, your energy levels and your mental health. While some lifestyle choices may affect healthy sleep patterns, often with chronic insomnia there is a secondary or underlying cause. Medical conditions, such as depression, chronic pain or restless leg syndrome, or side effects of certain medications, such as those used for cardiac or asthmatic conditions, are common factors in chronic insomnia. When insomnia becomes a pattern and interferes with your daily life, you may have chronic insomnia and should see a healthcare provider for diagnosis if:

  • You lie awake and have difficulty falling asleep
  • You struggle to maintain sleep and wake frequently throughout the night several times a week for several months
  • You wake up too early and can’t go back to sleep
  • You have poor quality, restless, or non-restorative sleep
  • You have any combination of these symptoms

Fortunately, for the majority of us, adopting healthy bedtime habits often make it easier to fall and stay asleep. Many times establishing a routine is effective. Avoiding heavy meals and exercise within 4 hours of bedtime, sticking to a regular schedule of sleep and wake times even on weekends, limiting stimulating activities and evening TV and computer time, establishing a soothing wind down routine, making the bedroom dark and cozy and turning down the temperature are all strategies that can aid more restful sleep.  

Professional Supplement Center offers high quality supplement choices to promote restorative sleep.  Here are some of our customers’ favorite sleep support products:

Kavinace Ultra PMKavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience – Our most popular sleep supplement, this proprietary blend is designed to relieve symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and stress by providing support for the calming neurotransmitters that promote restorative sleep and a normal sleep cycle. Gluten and soy free.

 

Insomnitol Chewable TabletsInsomnitol™ Chewables by Designs for Health® – These great tasting lemon flavored chewable tablets are formulated to supply nutritional support for calm brain activity. Insomnitol™ contains a blend of botanicals, nutrients and neurotransmitter precursors, which help promote the natural ability to fall and stay sleep. Non GMO formulation.

Sleep Time
Sleep Time by Nutritional Frontiers – Formulated to support the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to effectively promote healthy sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Vegetarian capsules.

 

References:
About Insomnia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0023585/
It’s Time to Do Something About Your Sleep. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201403/its-time-do-something-about-your-sleep
Insomnia Overview. http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/primary-insomnia/overview.html
Insomnia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9155.php?page=2