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Is lack of sleep a potential factor in rising rates of obesity?

I noticed this news story yesterday, which reports on research published recently in the journal Obesity. The research, from Sweden, assessed the effects of sleep deprivation on food purchasing [1]. Fourteen men were given about $50 to spend on food in two settings: once after the men had a full night’s sleep, and once after […]

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How to improve sleep through seeking and avoiding light at the right times

I came across this report last week of a study into sleep-wake cycles. A group of adults were monitored in their normal environments (with electrical lighting, TV and electronic devices) and also had their levels of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin assessed [1]. It was discovered that in their normal environment, melatonin secretion was generally delayed […]

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Could this simple strategy stop snoring and sleep apnoea?

Have you ever started out looking for something on-line, got diverted, and then ended up at a completely unplanned and unrelated destination on the internet? I have to admit, for me, it happens a lot. It happened yesterday, in fact, when I was reading a piece about blood pressure treatment, and found myself clicking on […]

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More reminders that those wanting to control their weight might want to sleep more

I came across this report recently of a study which found that stopping men sleeping for a night led to them choosing bigger portions of ‘energy-dense’ food at a buffet [1]. Previous work from the same group at Uppsala University in Sweden found that sleep deprivation caused greater activity in the parts of the brain […]

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Alcohol can disrupt sleep and how to drink less without even trying

I came across this report this week, which focuses on research (as yet, unpublished) which, apparently, finds that alcohol has the ability to disrupt ‘rapid eye movement’ (REM) sleep. REM sleep is quite shallow sleep, and is usually the predominant form of sleep in the second half of the night. REM sleep seems to be […]

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Why are sleeping pills associated with an increased risk of dementia?

There’s an interesting study published in the British Medical Journal this week which concerns the relationship between use of drugs known as benzodiazepines and risk of dementia in elderly individuals [1]. Benzodiazepines are drugs which are usually used to treat anxiety and/or insomnia (diazepam – trade name Valium – is an example). In this study, […]

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Using laptops and tablets in the evening may disrupt sleep by suppressing melatonin secretion

I am a big fan of natural sunlight, and evidence links it with a range of potential benefits for the body. Light also has the capacity to effect the brain. The role for light here becomes immediately apparent in the winter, when light can be in short supply and some people find their mood and […]

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Want to lose weight? Maybe turn off the TV and go to bed

Six years ago I decided to dramatically reduce the amount of time I spent watching TV, and this single intervention (I believe) had a dramatic effect on my life. It liberated a significant amount of time that I could devote to perhaps more useful and rewarding pursuits. You may be thinking that I’m referring to […]

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Getting more sleep could make it easier to control our weight

One could argue that our health is the product of factors that can be genetic (inherited) or environmental (including diet and activity). Body weight, for instance, will usually ultimately determined by these two major factors. There is no doubt that some people inherit more of a tendency to be heavier than others. Some people do […]

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A brief guide to better sleep

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how a lack of sleep might contribute to unhealthy weight gain. Today, I’m following this up on a guide to how to get better sleep. In no particular order, here are some of the strategies which I’ve found consistent success with in terms of improving sleep quality, and most […]

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