My friends, today, well actually not just today but for holiday’s sake, we need to stop and take the time to appreciate the fact that we are here and living the lives we do because of the contributions of many men and women years ago.
Always remember. Always appreciate. Never take for granted how you live and the rights you have. Things could have been very different.
Keeping that in mind, with the news of the election in the States, I have gone through many phases if I’m being honest. At first I joked and laughed at the fact that a business tycoon with the famous comb over was able to make his way to the top and actually become the leader of the most powerful country in the world. I have since swayed to being annoyed with it all. The results are in, voting is a public thing, the people spoke. As much as everyone can complain about it, the people spoke to have him there.
That is all. It is done. He is on his thrown and I suppose we will have to see what life has to bring us in the near future.
Moving on to a less snooze worthy topic…or are we..?
Lets move onto Fitness Friday
Something that I haven’t touched on yet but is pretty much just as critical as food and exercise is….
The Slumbers. The zzzzzzzsss. Snoozies.
Sleep my friends, sleep.
I had a guest lecture yesterday in my Exercise, Metabolism and Nutrition class that I wanted to share the highlight reel with you all.
So lets start with the basics, than I will share a few fun tidbits/studies.
Sleep in a nutshell…
~Sleep goes in 90 minute cycles. You move through stages that include REM and non REM sleep. REM is where most of your dreams happen and your brain is fairly active (almost as active as when you are awake), while the deeper stages (non REM, stages 3-4) is where your brain activity is quite low.
~Your sleeping patterns are highly influenced by your hormones and their response to light and dark. Light hits your eyes and than the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your brain. That than inhibits the pineal gland’s release of melatonin (signals your ‘nighttime’), which keeps the body awake. The absence of light allows for melatonin to be released and so your body believes it’s night time and prepares for sleep.
~There are many theories on why we sleep, but we are still unsure. Is it to repair? Is it to save energy? Is it to enhance memory and learning?
So there are the bare bone basics. Now that we know those, lets move onto some fun stuff.
How much zzzz do you need?
Depends on age and also on the person. One study that was presented to us was one by the National Sleep Foundation.
For young adults, it was stated that most need 7-9 hours. They than added the may be appropriate ranges (the turquoise boxes) to account for inter-individual differences. So the recommendation for us is around 7-9 BUT some people say they can function perfectly fine on 6, while some others say they need 10-11 in order to adult.
Now lets dive into some relationships shall we…
…this one seems to peak the interest of most, for good reason I suppose, is:
Does lack of sleep lead to greater risk of obesity?
…Well this is kind of like the whole chicken and the egg thing.
On the one hand, obese individuals see greater incidents of sleep apnea, which than leads to poorer quality sleep. Obesity also sees many cases of depression, which also tends to lead to poor sleeping habits.
On the other side of the spectrum you have all of the correlational data showing positive correlations between reduced sleep and:
~Wanting higher calorie foods
~Greater appetite and differences in appetite related hormones. Specifically leptin (satiety factor) appears to be reduced and ghrelin (appetite stimulant) appears to be heightened.
~Significantly higher incidents of insomnia in obese when compared to normal and even overweight individuals. So the trend appears to show that the higher the BMI, the more potential for poor sleeping.
And one really interesting finding was a study done on sleep deprived individuals that found that after 4 nights of less than stellar sleeping (i.e. allowed to sleep for 4.5 hours for all days), subjects were found to have their insulin receptors on their adipose tissues being 30% LESS sensitive. Fun fact was that this was in healthy and LEAN individuals. What would the results shown if this was done in obese subjects where they already have some degree of insulin resistance?
PLEASE NOTE insulin is not the only player obesity. Insulin is not a bad hormone, its actions are just unable to respond in normal and healthy ways in those with insulin resistance
So overall, we are not sure 100% which way this relationship goes but there is quite the large amount of evidence showing that lack of sleep may contribute to weight gain from a multitude of different pathways.
Other random tidbits I enjoyed:
1. The idea of social jet lag.
Most of us young peoples like tend to stay up into the wee hours of the morning, similar to an owl per say. Society on the other hand pushes us to be early birds with the way everything from work to life works. What does this end up causing? We are exhausted all week, then sleep in on the weekends and get back to feeling good just to start all over again come Monday. So basically we are creating our own form of jet lag
2. Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NSRED).
Yes this is actually a thing. A diagnosable disorder. Some people sleep eat without any way of controlling it or preventing it from happening. Now this may seem funny to some but it actually appears to be very dangerous as many of these things ‘chosen’ to consume are actually inedible. Think paint, cigarettes, etc.
Yeah, not so funny when you could potentially poison yourself while you’re asleep! Not to mention cutting yourself while ‘preparing’ your meal, falling down stairs, etc.
I was wondering if perhaps there’s a deficiency of some kind present here for the body to be drawn to inedible. Similar to conditions like pica, where they eat things like chalk or flour, maybe they are deficient in some mineral.
Finally, I will end off on something near and dear to my heart..
Yes, I take a nap for 20 minutes every day before dinner and will continue to do so until I need to grow up and adult during those 20 minutes. 😉
Now there is a science to taking naps. I’m sure you have all heard that if you go past 20 minutes you are screwing yourself, but most people refuse to only go for 20 because they want MOOOOORRREE.
Well unfortunately the rumours are true and if you go past roughly 20 minutes, you are than entering later sleep stages and will end up waking up groggy. Instead, sticking to 20 minutes, you will wake up feeling ready to go because you only made it into REM sleep where the brain is still mostly active. The only way around this is perhaps to go the full sleep cycle which is 90 minutes, but lets be real friends, we don’t have time to nap for 1.5 hours.
Stick to the long sleeps during the night and the power/cat naps during the day.
On that note, it’s almost time for my slumber soon since I’m actually one of the weirdos who functions as an early bird. I hope you enjoyed the info and have a good sleep. 😀
Information from this post was taken from a lecture presented by Dr. Justine Tishnisky on November 10, 2016 at the University of Guelph.