Posts tagged diet changes
How are your children sleeping? In our last post, we talked about how a lack of sleep in adolescents affects their life choices in the future. Another study has discovered that preschoolers (Ages 3 to 4 years old) are more likely to develop bad eating habits if they suffer from sleep deprivation. Find out why it is important for children to take naps during the first few years of their lives, and how to prevent sleep deprivation in kids.
What Research Says About Sleep Deprivation in Kids
The research was performed at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where researchers sought to mimic the sleeping habits of preschoolers. They did this by depriving the kids of an afternoon nap and keeping them up two hours later than their bedtimes. The next day, they let the children sleep as much as they could.
The researchers’ test resulted in the kids consuming at least 20 percent more calories than they would normally eat. Even after receiving an adequate amount of sleep the next day, the children still consumed at least 14 percent more calories than usual.
Apparently, this issue is becoming a common problem. The National Sleep Foundation has found that 30 percent of these children are not sleeping enough.
“We found that sleep loss increased the dietary intake of preschoolers on both the day of and the day after restricted sleep,” says Assistant Professor LeBourgeois of the Department of Integrative Physiology and lead author.
How to Prevent Sleep Deprivation
This study is revealing. It confirms that the link between sleep and obesity is the same in children as it is in adults. In order to prevent your child from developing bad eating habits, here are a few points to remember:
- Preschoolers need their naps.
- Children around the age of 3 and 4 years old need go to bed at a regularly scheduled time.
- According to the CDC, preschoolers need at least 11 to 12 hours of sleep a day.
When you eat better, do you find that you sleep better? There may be a connection between sleep and diet. A new study found that eating more fiber, cutting back on saturated fat, and reducing sugar intake can be associated with deeper, more restorative, and less disrupted sleep.
Results show that greater fiber intake tended to result in more time spent in the stage of deep, slow-wave sleep. In contrast, a higher percentage of energy derived from saturated fat meant lighter slow-wave sleep. More arousals from sleep took place when greater sugar was consumed during waking hours.
Researchers have found that it takes remarkably little to make a difference in sleep patterns. “Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality,” said principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center. “It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters.”
“This study emphasizes the fact that diet and sleep are interwoven in the fabric of a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Nathaniel Watson, President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “For optimal health it is important to make lifestyle choices that promote healthy sleep, such as eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.”
The study also found that after eating fixed meals prepared by a nutritionist, which were lower in saturated fat and higher in protein than self-selected meals, participants feel asleep faster. It took participants an average of 29 minutes to fall asleep after consuming foods and beverages of their choice, as opposed to 17 minutes to fall asleep after eating controlled meals.
“The finding that diet can influence sleep has tremendous health implications, given the increasing recognition of the role of sleep in the development of chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said St-Onge.
Twenty-six adults took place in the randomized, cross-over study, evenly divided between men and women. The adults had a normal weight and an average age of 35 years. Participants spent 9 hours in bed from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. for 5 nights in a sleep lab, sleeping for 7 hours and 35 minutes on average per night. Objective sleep data were gathered nightly by polysomnography, a diagnostic tool in sleep medicine. Sleep data were analyzed from night 3, after 3 days of controlled feeding, and night 5, after one day of when study subjects consumed food of their choice. Study results are published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
The study suggests that dietary suggestions and changes might help improve sleep in people with poor sleep quality. However, additional studies are needed to assess and confirm this relationship.
Little-Known Symptoms of Reflux
For many, reflux disease means bouts of uncomfortable heartburn. While this is a very common symptom closely associated with acid reflux, it is by no means the only one. Patients may not even realize they have issues with reflux because they may be unaware of the other indicators. Physicians may suggest that reflux is the cause, but the idea may be quickly rejected. The good news is that for those with acid reflux, once a diagnosis is made, there are steps that can be taken to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
The symptoms that a person may experience from reflux disease can vary according to severity of the illness and the time that has passed without treatment. Doctors would like to see an increased awareness of some of the other results patients may experience from reflux. Often, the symptoms other than heartburn are not as obvious. Here are a few of those common yet little-known symptoms of acid reflux.
Some of the most common symptoms involve the throat. Constant clearing of the throat, a feeling that something is trapped in the throat, a sore throat, and a hoarse voice can all be signs pointing to reflux. If a patient wakes up during the night with a cough, or if regurgitation happens from time to time, these could also be symptoms of reflux. Sometimes a difficulty with swallowing and an excess of phlegm are other indicators.
Many of the other results that manifest from acid reflux may not usually be associated with the illness. However, if these are experienced, even if it is in the absence of heartburn, it could be a case of untreated reflux. With drug therapy, diet changes, and weight loss, it is possible to manage or even be rid of these symptoms completely.