How much sleep are you getting?

Sleep has been shown to play an important role in weight management. There appears to be a correlation between obesity and getting insufficient sleep, which is defined for most adults as less than 6-7 hours per night, though the number of hours of sleep needed vary tremendously from person to person. Simply, the more hours you’re awake, the more food you tend to consume, plus eating to stay awake is not uncommon. Overlaying factors are accumulated sleep debt caused by chronic inadequate sleep and poor quality sleep, etc. Inadequate sleep can have serious health consequences beyond obesity though, including psychological issues, including depression. And, a lack of ability to focus or concentrate is associated with insufficient sleep.

So get some sleep! But how? I know this doesn’t always come easily to most of us and in my experience, two servings of dairy-rich foods daily, like nonfat yogurt and milk makes the body feel relaxed and ready to sleep. The tryptophan – contained in dairy-rich foods – is an amino acid that has been shown to affect the part of the brain that governs sleep. Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, which then is converted into melatonin – both of which make you feel relaxed and ready to sleep.