Monday, April 13, 2009

Sleep and lose weight

The minimum amount of sleep you need for weight loss is seven and a half hours a night, experts say. But the closer you can get to your ideal sleep time the better it will be.
Not getting enough sleep can increase your appetite and and weight gain.
Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite.
Leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.

When sleep deprived, leptin level drop, which means we don't feel as satisfied after we eat.
Less sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means the appetite is stimulated, so we want more food.
The two combined set the stage for overeating, which in turn leads to weight gain.

How food affects sleepCombating insomnia through nutrition is about eating the right combination of foods in the evening, and knowing what foods to avoid.

Want to sleep more? Cut down on these.
Large meals close to bedtime
Stop liquids 90 minutes prior to bed

Eat more of these foods.
Setrotonin producing bedtime snacks
§ Among the best natural sedatives is tryptophan, an amino acid component of many plant and animal proteins. Tryptophan is one of the ingredients necessary for the body to make serotonin, the neurotransmitter best known for creating feelings of calm, and for making you sleepy. How sleepy? A 2005 study of people with chronic insomnia found that diet made a big difference. After three weeks, those who ate foods with high amounts of tryptophan with carbohydrates, or who took pharmaceutical grade tryptophan supplements had improvements on all measures of sleep … and food sources worked just as well as the supplements.
§ The trick is to combine foods that have some tryptophan with ample carbohydrate. This helps tryptophan make its way to the brain. Unfortunately, all amino acids compete for transport to the brain. Added carbohydratess cause the release of insulin, which takes the competing amino acids and incorporates them into muscle … but leaves tryptophan alone, so it can make its way to the brain and cause sleepiness.

Bedtime snack examples (each 100 to 200 calories)
Yogurt and fruit sprinkled with nuts
Cinnamon Oatmeal: 1/2 cup dry oatmeal prepared with 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/2 cup water and sprinkled with cinnamon (optional one teaspoon sugar or honey).
1 slice whole wheat toast topped with sliced tomato and one slice of turkey.
One cup skim milk with one cup grapes.
Low-fat berry sorbet
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla pudding or tapioca
Sliced apple with 1-2 teaspoons peanut butter

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