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Obesity and Lack of Sleep: Why It Matters

by Justin Diep

Recently, an online newsletter called RTTNews revealed findings from a Mayo Clinic study on the relationship between obesity and sleep. According to the article, “sleep deprivation could lead to increased food consumption for some people.” In fact, according to the lead researcher of the study, Dr. Andrew Calvin, “those who skimp on sleep could be likely to consume over 500 extra calories a day.”

These findings are significant for the health community. Sleep education has been ignored for too long, despite its importance as part of the Triumvirate of Health along with physical exercise and healthy eating. Most people ignore this significant portion of their lives, and believe that they can “cheat” on their sleep-—with few repercussions. Yet this study has blasted this myth wide open. As these researchers have shown, sleep is a significant factor of people’s health and its effects are very present, especially in today’s obesity-ridden, 24/7 society. There are all kinds of shortcuts people take to curb obesity, but they all miss the important connection sleep deprivation might be having at the root of the problems. In fact, the lack of sleep eduction offers insight into why today’s society suffers from these problems, and is very relevant to all citizens’ lives. We cannot simply live in ignorance of this aspect of our
lives any more, should we value our health at all.

This article has helped elevate the importance of sleep, and made aware its very physical effects on everyone’s lives. In doing so, it offers hope that people today will alter their habits in response to this issue. In fact, given the prevalence and harmful effects that obesity has on today’s society, this news should be viewed as both a warning and a blessing. For many of these people who suffer from this problem, a solution in the form of improved sleeping health is now available to solve this issue. For those who may have this tendency, this is an important piece of news to keep in mind throughout their lives. This is useful information for me as well, for although my family does not have a history of either sleeping problems in general or issues with obesity, I now realize the importance that the quality of my sleep can have on my physical health, and this will be something that I must now focus on with increased vigor in order to prevent my health from deteriorating, not only now in my often stressful and sleep deprived environment in college, but also later in life in case these habits continue to follow me throughout the rest of my life.

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About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

A Note On Visitor-Submitted Questions:

Publishing sleep stories and questions from our visitors is meant to create a forum for open and proactive dialogue about an extremely important portion of our lives (one that occupies 1/3 of it and affects the other 2/3) that isn't talked about enough. It is not meant to substitute a trip to the doctor or the advice of a specialist. It's good to talk; it is not good to avoid consulting someone who's profession it is to help you with this kind of stuff.

If you are in any way concerned about your sleep health, don't wait for an answer on here, and don't necessarily rely on them. See a sleep specialist in your area as soon as possible.

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The Stanford Sleep Book

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Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

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