My father was right about sleep…

When we were kids, my brothers and I used to tease our father who always insisted that getting enough sleep was the answer to everything.

And now, it looks like he was right and new studies are showing that not getting enough sleep is actually associated with a host of health concerns:

♦ Weight gain and overeating

♦ Feeling more hungry, especially craving simple carbs like sugary foods and bread

♦ Feeling more emotional and reactive

♦ Less efficient immune system

♦ Diabetes

♦ Cardiovascular disease

Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night can make it more difficult to stick to healthy food choices which, in turn, lead to lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Here’s why:

♦ Disrupted cortisol secretion (stress hormone) which affects food choices

♦ Increased insulin resistance which makes us more likely to put on fat, particularly around the stomach area.

♦ Increased levels of the hormone ghrelin, which controls hunger

I know that I really need to make more effort to go to bed earlier on weekdays. What about you, how would you describe your sleep habits?

(The koala photo was taken on The Great Ocean Road in Australia by my hubby – like most of the photos on this blog).