The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have called sleep deprivation a public health crisis. According to a recent CDC study, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. This has significant implications for people with IBS: According to Jonathan Cedernaes, a sleep researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden, a new research study has demonstrated a link between lack of sleep and a change in gut bacteria.
WHAT SLEEP DOES FOR YOU
- While you are sleeping, your brain is preparing you for the next day by clearing unused pathways and forming new ones to help you learn and remember information.
- Sleep helps you pay attention and stay focused, and it improves your decision-making skills.
- Sleep helps you control your emotions and behaviour, and it helps you cope with change.
- Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels.
- Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity because sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin).
- Sleep deficiency results in a higher-than-normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.
- Sleep helps build your immune system so your body can fight common infections.
HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED?
In general, most healthy adults are built for 16 hours of wakefulness, which means they need an average of eight hours of sleep a night.
CAUSES OF SLEEPING DIFFICULTIES
Apart from rarer physiological and psychological disorders that may be involved, the following things can cause sleeping difficulties:
- Stress: for example, job-related pressures or a family problem
- Drinking beverages containing alcohol or caffeine in the afternoon or evening
- Exercising close to bedtime
- Following an irregular morning and night-time schedule
- Working or studying right before getting into bed
- Environmental factors, such as a room that’s too hot or cold, too noisy, or too brightly lit.
- Interruptions from children or other family members
- Physical problems that cause pain
- Medications such as decongestants, steroids, and some medicines for high blood pressure, asthma, or depression.
(This is an excerpt from my new book, The Low FODMAP 6-Week Plan & Cookbook. It is now available for purchase HERE.)
If you are having any trouble with getting eight hours of good quality sleep a night on a set routine, then make sure you join the FREE Life Balance Challenge, which starts at the end of this week – 24th February. Register HERE and sort not only your sleep but balance your lifestyle from all angles so your efforts with the low Fodmap diet are not sabotaged by the lack of balance in your life.