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Weight and sleep are bidirectionally related —that is, people who weigh more tend to sleep less and people who sleep less tend to weigh more. Did you happen to catch last month’s New York Times article “Harming Our Health with Eyes Wide Open” by Jane E. Brody? 

This article summarized research on the complex relationship between sleep and health.  Lack of sleep affects your physical and mental health and is a risk factor for disease. Poor sleep habits compromise your health by affecting the following: appetite and mood, metabolism and weight control, immune function and disease resistance, and the function of vital organs. The author cites research studies on the connection between lack of sleep and weight gain, confirming that inadequate or disrupted sleep allows more time to snack, increases appetite and decreases metabolism, and reduces the body’s ability to process glucose.

Many factors that contribute to weight gain, such as stress or anxiety, can also contribute to poor sleep. In her upcoming sleep management workshop, “From Counting Sheep to Healthy Sleep,” Dr. Osborn will explore the science of sleep, sleep patterns, and common sleep problems. Participants will leave the workshop with strategies and tools for improving sleep (often called sleep hygiene).

Although we often cannot avoid the factors that affect our sleep, we can build habits for healthier sleep. You can find more information on Dr. Osborn’s upcoming sleep workshop here. Join us for one of the many groups at NCWW to learn new health strategies for long-term weight management and overall wellness!