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How Sleep Loss May Contribute to Adverse Weight Gain

If you needed another reason to get a good night’s sleep, Uppsala University has found that both chronic sleep loss and disrupted sleep, such as when you do shift work, can increase your risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes. What’s worse, researchers said that even one night of sleep loss can affect your gene regulation and metabolism.

Ah! Sweet sleep! How we love it when we can wake from a full night’s rest, ready to meet the new day! If such a feeling sounds a bit esoteric — likely a reality for only a very few — it’s because we have become a population that for some odd reason seems to equate success with how much you can accomplish on the least amount of sleep.

The thing is, sleep deprivation doesn’t accomplish anything other than to raise your risk for chronic illnesses and other serious health issues — not to mention that it actually can lessen your ability to perform critical thinking skills, not heighten them. Much as we may not like to admit it, getting quality sleep, and enough of it, is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body and to invigorate your health on a daily basis.

If you need proof, research shows that getting less than six hours of sleep leaves you cognitively impaired, so much so that, in 2013 alone, drowsy driving was blamed for 72,000 car accidents, in which 800 Americans were killed and 44,000 injured. If you live through it, the impaired memory formation caused by sleeplessness also increases your risk of memory loss.

And, of course, there’s the metabolic issue, with many studies joining today’s featured one showing that getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can increase your risk of weight gain (leading to obesity) as well as a 52 percent increased risk for Type 2 diabetes. When you add the fact that more than half of people diagnosed with depression also struggle with insomnia, the list of reasons to get good quality sleep is long and impressive.

Unfortunately, sleep is still a largely neglected health issue. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 50 ways to improve your sleep. From simply turning off all electronics at least two hours before bed to sleeping in a cool, dark room to not eating at least three hours before bed, I’ve come up with 50 workable, sure-fire ways to improve your sleep, one step at a time.
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