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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Sleep In for Good Metabolism!

Sunny days are here but winter will be here before we know it. With shorter days comes our winter eating habits that are likely born of opportunity. There will be more holiday feasting, better leftovers in the kitchen, and fewer opportunities for playing and exercising outside.

The shorter days and colder weather of winter can make anyone feel down. The reduced light, warmth, and color of winter can leave you feeling melancholy, irritable, or tired. The winter blues may affect as many 10 to 20 percent of people, and nearly all experience some weight gain because food can feel more comforting than exercise or a good night’s sleep. Then too, winter’s snow and ice may require more drive time and cut into your sleep time during your work week.


We know that getting too little sleep can leave you sluggish and irritable, but did you know it can make you fat? Too little sleep increases levels of hormones that make you feel hungry. If that isn’t bad enough, it also decreases hormones that make you feel full. According to new research, lack of sleep reduces your fat cells’ ability to respond properly to insulin, which is pivotal in regulating how your body uses and stores calories.


Quoted in USA Today, University of Chicago researcher Matthew Brady, said, “Our fat cells need sleep to function properly. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel groggy, and it turns out that your fat cells will be metabolically groggy too.”


The findings are from a laboratory study that included seven volunteers whose diet and sleep were monitored in a sleep laboratory for four days on two separate occasions.


The results, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, show that four nights of inadequate sleep reduce the body’s ability to respond to insulin by 16 percent.


Fat cells were even sleepier, with their ability to use insulin dropping by 30 percent. Insulin helps in the release of the hormone leptin, which makes you feel full. Without sleep, less leptin is released, telling your body it is hungry, increasing your appetite and making you gain weight. This is especially sad because many of us worked long hours or pulled all-nighters and have lived with sleep deprivation to get ahead in our careers.


Seniors appear to have an even greater susceptibility to weight gain because they tend to have other health issues, mobility issues, and simply don’t get the exercise younger people do. My mother was one of those seniors, and she found a solution to her problems by moving into an assisted living community. She received three nutritious meals a day. Mom participated in exercise classes with her new neighbors and especially enjoyed three or four activities daily with them. This new routine provided a healthy regimen conducive to better health. Soon she was getting a good night’s sleep, and those extra pounds came off effortlessly.


A good night’s sleep is good for your health and your weight at any age. Our fat cells need sleep to function properly. If you don’t get enough sleep, your fat cells will be metabolically groggy. Enjoy sleeping in this weekend guilt-free for good metabolism!

This is a synopsis of a seminar held at the Villas of Holly Brook. Call 1-855-20-VILLA (84552) to learn about the topic and time of the next presentation. The Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections Memory Care is one of the leading family owned and managed assisted living and memory care communities in Illinois. Their professional staff is committed to enriching the lives of seniors they serve every day by working under the faith-based philosophy established by owner Reggie Phillips and his family. Visit villasofhollybrook.com to learn more about the communities, services, and amenities provided.



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