I read a lot of articles during the week.  If something really jumps out at me and believe you may find it of interest, the article makes to one of my blog entries.

During a week dominated by Tom Brady, I had a hard time finding health and fitness items with details I felt compelled to pass on.  Here are some examples…

  • Beyonce’s plant based eating…nah. The celebrity thing doesn’t do it for me.
  • 10 foods to stop eating now… No surprises there; soda & doughnuts made the list? – shocking.
  • 10 different ways to do an arm curl…really? My eyelids are getting heavier…heavier…

Speaking of sleep…

I talk about sleep often.  However, most of the things I read listing the causes of poor sleep revolve around this list of usual suspects:

  • Eating carbs at bedtime
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not turning off screens (tablets, phones, TV’s, etc)
  • Eating meals after a certain time
  • Exercising too close to bedtime
  • Excess stress
  • Etc…

However, a new study focuses on two other causes.  If you fit into either of these categories and have trouble sleeping there may be a way to help.

The first one may seem obvious, but people who are obese often complain of excessive sleepiness during that day.  At first it might seem easy to blame this on sleep apnea – when you stop breathing for prolonged periods during the night.  But researchers found obese people were secreting chemical from their fat cells called cytokines.

These nasty guys are a cause of inflammation and actually promote sleepiness.  I have already written a TON about inflammation.   See my blog entry on this powerful topic here.  So it may have more to do with chemicals your own fat cells are secreting than the excess snoring and breathing issues.

The other cause is depression.  This may seem counterintuitive at first.  Depression is sometimes stereotyped by an image of someone sleeping constantly and lacking energy.  However, depression is closely associated with anxiety and the production of stress hormones.  This keeps you up at night and can wreak havoc upon general health in a number of ways.

Bear in mind:  As we age there can be a significant increase in the occurrence of depression for a multitude of reasons; personal loss, marital changes, financial pressures, etc. Some of us may slide into this condition slowly over time without truly recognizing it.

If you or someone you knows shows signs of depression and/or anxiety, an official diagnosis is the first step.  There are multiple options available which can ward off the interrupted sleep and resulting daytime exhaustion.

Remember: self-diagnosis is never a good option. 

When it comes to your sleep and the powerful impact it has on your lifespan and health, make sure it receives the focus it deserves.

Sleep well!

Committed to your health,