Monday, January 5, 2009

First change for 2009

I have to start going to bed earlier than I had been getting to bed in 2008. I sometimes don't get to bed until after midnight. Then the alarm goes off for Kim at 5am. Sure I fall back to sleep but it's not a sound sleep if you know what I mean. So I am making the effort to go to bed between 9 an 10 pm. What makes this hard is I am a local news junkie. I usually watch the local Fox broadcast at 10pm, and then at 11pm turn on the local CBS news. I will just have to catch the local news in the morning.

Here is just one of many articles out there about the benefits of a good night sleep. This one is from

Medical News Today

Adequate sleep helps you lose weight

11 Jan 2004

Do you need to lose weight? Then, turn off the television or computer an hour earlier and go to bed. We're sleeping too little, experts warn.

Too much sitting instead of being active is clearly part of why overweight is now common.

But studies suggest that a lack of sleep may make weight loss and weight control more of a challenge by altering our metabolism, as well as our eating and activity patterns.

Some research has directly tested the idea that sleep deprivation leads to weight problems. For instance, in a Japanese study of six-and seven-year olds, children who slept nine to ten hours a night were compared to those who only slept eight to nine hours.

The latter group was almost twice as likely to be overweight. Children sleeping less than eight hours a night were almost three times as likely to be overweight.

Changes in hormone levels have been linked to sleep deprivation in several studies. One hormone, cortisol, regulates metabolism of sugar, protein, fat, minerals and water. Physical or emotional stress raises cortisol levels. Lack of sleep may also raise levels at certain times of the day.

Second, higher levels of insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance, have also been linked to a shortage of sleep in several studies. Excess cortisol could be the link. Since insulin not only controls blood sugar, but also promotes fat storage, extra insulin makes weight loss more difficult.

Sleep affects behavior (UK - Behaviour. USA - Behavior)

Further research needs to validate the hormonal changes observed. But even without any hormonal impact, sleep deprivation can promote weight gain by affecting our behavior.

When people low on sleep find their energy dropping throughout the day, many turn to food for a pickup. The short-term rise in blood sugar gives a more energetic feeling, but often the extra calories are not needed by the body and must be stored as body fat.

Furthermore, the most appealing foods when we feel low on energy are often sweets or refined carbohydrates with low nutrient density. If sleep deprivation causes insulin resistance, overconsuming these types of carbohydrates may be especially problematic.

Not only is it easy to take in excess calories when sleep deprived. For many people, calorie burning decreases. If your extra waking hours are spent in sedentary activities at a desk or computer or in front of the TV, you're not burning many more calories than when asleep.

And when sleep deprived, people are often too tired to exercise. Or if they do manage to exercise, they work out less intensely than usual. For example, a rested person may walk two miles in a half-hour, while someone more fatigued may go much less. The tired person would burn fewer calories, despite walking just as long.

Sleep experts recommend at least eight hours of sleep a night for most adults. Yet Americans average just under seven hours during the workweek, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In fact, a third of adults reportedly sleep no more than six-and-a-half hours nightly.

Shutting off the TV an hour earlier means an hour less munching time. It could also shift your metabolism to make weight control easier. It could even leave you with more energy to exercise. Definitely, these are propositions to sleep on.

Article URL:

Main News Category: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia

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Vic said...

Move to the Central Time Zone. The local Fox news is on at 9. :) Guess that may be a bit drastic of a solution.

Marcy said...

Another reason for me to hit the hay earlier ;-)

Viv said...

Great article Dan.

Happy New Year, best wishes for a strong healthy 2009!

just in case you have not, don't forget to sign up for free running shoes on my blog

Trishie said...

great change :)

I think it's odd... we know to eat more when we train, but we rarely sleep more. and sleep = v. important!!

Shilingi-Moja said...

Dan -- this is a change I'd like to make in my life, too. We usually get to bed around 11 but I get up between 4:30 and 5:00 to run, depending on how far I'm going and that's just not enough sleep. (And, getting to bed on time might be just the thing I need to knock off the last 12 pounds.)

john said...


long time no talk... Hope everything is going well with you. Just wanted to drop you a note and say hello.

john l

Missy said...

Oh, I'm the Queen of Sleep, especially in training. I work a 'regular' job but I was truly in bed and sleeping by *gasp* 8:30 on many get up 4-4:30ish. Got to get it all in sometime!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

J~Mom said...

Interesting article!! I can definitely use more sleep!

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