Do you struggle to lose weight despite eating a healthy diet?
Do you have niggling health concerns despite an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals?
Do you have powerful cravings for sugar in the evenings?
Do your energy levels fluctuate wildly, with a real slump around lunch time?
What if I told you that more good-quality sleep could be the answer to your problems?
Lack of sleep could be just as detrimental to your health as an unhealthy sedimentary lifestyle, plus a diet laden with toxins.
In fact – lack of sleep has even linked to cancer, as the following studies show.
The study linked here ‘Sleep Disruption Among Older Men and Risk of Prostate Cancer’ suggested that sleep disruption may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
While the study cited here, showed the recurrence scores for a particular type of breast cancer were strongly correlated with average hours of sleep per night before diagnosis.
‘Fewer hours of sleep [were] associated with a higher (worse) recurrence score. This is the first study to suggest that women who routinely sleep fewer hours may develop more aggressive breast cancers compared with women who sleep longer hours.’
The following study published in the Oxford Journal went a step further, analyzing the impact of being exposed to light at night on the risk of developing breast cancer.
‘Exposure to light at night may increase the risk of breast cancer by suppressing the normal nocturnal production of melatonin by the pineal gland, which, in turn, could increase the release of estrogen by the ovaries.
Breast cancer risk was increased among subjects who frequently did not sleep during the period of the night when melatonin levels are typically at their highest. Risk did not increase with interrupted sleep accompanied by turning on a light. There was an indication of increased risk among subjects with the brightest bedrooms.
Graveyard shiftwork was associated with increased breast cancer risk, with a trend of increased risk with increasing years and with more hours per week of graveyard shift work.
The results of this study provide evidence that indicators of exposure to light at night may be associated with the risk of developing breast cancer.’
These studies strongly suggest that there is a link between exposure to light after dark and rate of disease – with night shift workers and light from computers and mobile phones being amongst the worst offenders.
The results analyzed above make mention of the fact that melatonin (a hugely powerful antioxidant) is secreted by the brain at night while a person is sleeping. Disruption of this natural process could be having disastrous effects on the body.
Maintaining a balanced hormone level within the body at night depends on an established daily routine. Night-time hormones will be impacted by daytime hormones and vice versa. The system is intricately connected, and it is therefore vital to maintain the correct hormone levels throughout each 24 hour period to gain the most benefit during night hours.
We have no doubt of the impact that food has on our health – we are what we eat. It is no surprise then that our food choices can aid or disrupt our sleep.
Again this is a cycle that starts long before a sleepiness night, as lack of sleep is known to impact insulin levels, affecting craving for sugars. A real catch 22 – unless you break the cycle.
It is possible to make simply changes in your diet to improve your chances of a good nights’ sleep, breaking the sugar/insulin/insomnia and disrupted hormone cycle.
As mentioned, your sleep will also be impacted by your daily cycle – so here are a few tips on how to ensure a good nights’ sleep from the moment you wake up. It is best to experiment with these suggestions to find out what works for you.
What do you do to ensure a good night’s sleep?
Or do you struggle to get a decent quota of shut eye?
We would love to hear from you!
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