Did you know that a lack of sleep and obesity have been linked? Yep, those of us who suffer from a serious lack of sleep, are putting our waistlines in danger of expanding!

As sleep is a restorative process carried out by the brain, which benefits our whole body, it really is important that we get enough of it. It’s recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours sleep each night, and that children and teenagers get around 9 hours! However, a recent study from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) found that school children and teenagers were often not getting anywhere near the recommended amount.

Shivani Rajdev who works as a Nutritional Therapist said, “Poor quality or lack of sleep results in reduced energy expenditure as well as having an effect on hormones such as an increase in ghrelin levels, that results in an increase in appetite and can promote fat storage. In addition, lack of sleep also leads to a reduction in insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance as well as an increase in cortisol levels.”

These factors are all directly linked to obesity, which is why you may have noticed stories such as this in news more often lately. With obesity demanding more and more of the NHS’s valuable time, experts are desperately searching for ways of reducing the condition.

For some of us, lack of sleep is merely down to small things that we can totally control ourselves. These are things such as no caffeine on a night, don’t eat a heavy meal after 8pm, make sure our sleeping environment is comfortable (lighting and temperature), and not using blue light devices right before bed (these are things such as phones and tablets). However, for some people, the lack of sleep is something more serious such as insomnia. People who think they may be suffering this condition are urged to seek advice from their GP.

So if you don’t think you’ve been getting enough sleep lately, and are finding that you often feel tired and drained of energy, make sure you get tight control of this before you notice it having effects on other parts of your health and body.