Poor sleep increases consumption of unhealthy food among women and raises risk of obesity and heart disease, according to a new study.
The study by researchers from the Columbia University Irving Medical Centre found that women who suffer from poor sleep, not only tend to overeat but also consume a lower-quality diet. This, in turn, increases their risks of developing obesity, a well-established risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Indian-origin researcher and study senior author Brooke Aggarwal from Columbia University Vagelos said women are particularly prone to sleep disturbances across the life span. This is because, according to him, they often shoulder the responsibilities of caring for children and family and, later, because of menopausal hormones.
So, if you are having trouble falling asleep at night, these tips may help you get the recommended sleep. Sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person. However, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best- say health experts.
Soak up some sunshine
Getting exposed to sunlight may help improve your sleep quality- suggest researchers. They explain Sunlight helps the body set its circadian rhythm. This means when the sun sets our body also learns that it is time to sleep.
Dim your room lights at night
At night make sure to switch off or dim your room lights, or else they will stimulate the body to stay awake.
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Do Not Eat Heavy Dinners
Heavy dinner before bed will delay digestion, which will interfere with a good night's sleep. Dietitians advises eating your last big meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Or have a light evening meal of 500 calories or less to support the digestive system.
Drink Herbal Teas Before Bed
Experts also recommend avoiding caffeinated drinks up to six hours before bedtime. Instead drinking herbal teas like lavender, chamomile, passionflower and valerian. They can help induce and support good sleep.
Maintain A Routine
Go to bed at the same time every night. Apply the same routine even on weekends. This will help to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.