Sleep and Weight Loss

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We need our Beauty Sleep

Image of Woman Sleeping
Image of Woman Sleeping, copyright Microsoft


As a prolific reader, I’m always reading something, especially about health.  Last week I was reading an eBook called “Lights Out – Sleep, Sugar and Survival.”

I learned I really need to turn off all lights when I sleep (I have a bad habit of falling asleep with the light on).  The book said we really need a little more than 9 hours of sleep per night.  Well, I get no where near that, probably averaging 4 hours each night.  The authors state:


“The disastrous slide in the health of the American people corresponds to the increase in light-generating night activities and the carbohydrate consumption that follows.”

The premise is that

  1. Long hours of artificial light equals summer in your brain.
  2. Winter signifies famine to your internal controls
  3. Famine on the horizon signifies instinctive carbohydrate craving to store fat for hibernation and scarcity

The author goes on to say the fat stored does this:

  1. Increasing carbohydrate consumption until your body responds to all the insulin by becoming insulin-resistant in muscle tissue.
  2. Ensuring that the carbohydrates taken in end up as a fat pad.
  3. Prompting the liver to dump the extra sugar into cholesterol production, which will keep cell membranes from freezing at low temperatures.
Image of wheat fields and a harvester, copyright Microsfoft
Image of wheat fields and a harvester, copyright Microsfoft

Our bodies need the amount of sleep that we would normally have if we slept when it was dark outside and woke when it was light outside.  Seems like the old time farmers who worked from dawn to dust and were skinny stayed that way not just because of the amount of hard work.  It was also that they quit work and went to bed when it became dark.

The invention of the light bulb and the industrial revolution changed our society in ways that greatly affected our health, allowing us to work during the night (shift work), the processed foods full of sugar and carbohydrates from the growth of agriculture changed our nutrition greatly. Society began working day and night and eating foods that piled on the fat because our sleep-deprived bodies crave carbohydrates.   Here’s a cool homily:

If you don’t sleep all night, you might get your work done.

If you don’t sleep for a week, not only does your work suffer, you might die.



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