Sleep your way to weight loss & health: tips for healthy sleep

Sleep your way to weight loss & health: tips for healthy sleep

Nearly 1/3 of Americans aren’t sleeping enough each night, which is affecting our health in major ways.

Humans need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Skimping on sleep interferes with decision making, reaction time, and overall health. Chronic medical conditions like heart failure, atrial fibrillation, depression, and diabetes are more difficult to control without enough sleep.

Sleep is also a key player in the obesity epidemic. We eat more and exercise less when we are chronically sleep deprived. Hunger hormones are increased when we’re tired, we have less impulse control, and we crave unhealthy food.

Tips for healthy sleep:

  • Refrain from caffeinated beverages at least six hours before bed
  • Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime
  • Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day
  • Get into bed when you are ready to fall asleep. Reserve your bed only for sleep.

When to see a doctor

If you are sleeping seven to nine hours but still wake up feeling unrefreshed, talk with your doctor. Many people suffer from sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea, and 80% of them are undiagnosed. If you snore or wake up gasping for air, these could be symptoms of sleep apnea.

One in three people will have a bout of insomnia in their lifetime. If it takes you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep or you are waking up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep, you should be evaluated by a sleep medicine doctor.

For more information, contact The Oregon Clinic at 503-935-8000 or visit www.oregonclinic.com.