In taking a holistic approach to one’s health, good quality sleep is a key, if under-appreciated factor. When thinking about achieving a healthier lifestyle and shedding extra pounds, it is instinctual to think of the foods you’re eating and daily exercise. However, the quality of your sleep may be undermining results and ultimately become detrimental, as studies from the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, and published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity present.

The recommended amount of sleep for the average adult is between seven and nine hours a night, as stated by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. In studies, when this average sleep pattern is altered, the effects are startling. For example, sleep-restricted participants in a study consumed 130% of their caloric requirements, doing a large part of this additional eating in the late evening following dinner. The on average 550 additional calories during the night hours resulted in the study’s sleep-restricted group gaining 1 kg (2.205 pounds) after just five nights. On the other side of things, for sleep-deprived obese patients who increased their nightly amount of sleep, effects such as a reduced body mass index, a greater willingness to exercise, and fewer cravings for sweet and salty foods were noted.

A third study conducted in 2016 featured ten overweight nonsmoking adults with an average age of 41. The intervention in this group featured a moderate caloric restriction, typical to most weight loss efforts, but with either 8.5 or 5.5. hours of sleep an evening. The results of this study were indicative: the curtailment of patients’ sleep decreased the proportion of weight lost as fat by 55% in the just 14-day study. The conclusions of the study note that results “shed new light on the paradoxical association of human obesity with loss of the most energy-efficient and sedentary human behavior: sleep.”

The illogical nature aside, the results due not lie. A crucial component to a healthy lifestyle, especially for an individual interested in losing weight in a healthy manner, is to get between the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. By slipping into bed a few hours earlier or rising a few hours later, you can remarkably impact the present and future of your own health. Used to a nightly four hours and supplementing that with a cup (or four) of coffee? The experts at Pria Wellness can help put you on track. Book an appointment online or call today at 410-565-6552.



These days, many of us are contemplating the best ways to keep ourselves well. A key factor in maintaining peak wellness is having a healthy immune system, which serves as the body’s primary defense mechanism. The immune system guards against potentially harmful invaders such as viruses, toxins, bacteria, and fungi.

An overall healthy lifestyle is beneficial to preserving a healthy and effective immune system. Efforts such as eating a balanced diet focused on whole, unprocessed foods high in antioxidants can aide greatly. Other lifestyle choices such as engaging inthree or more hours a week of moderate exercise and seeking at least seven hours of good-quality sleep a night can also assist in strengthening your immune system. Managing stress in a variety of ways, from counseling to practicing mindfulness and meditation additionally helps. While aspiring to the best quality of health as possible is beneficial to the immune system, research supports that the following supplemental ingredients provide a vital boost to the body’s defense system whenbattling viral infections.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the healthy, helpful microorganisms that live in each of our guts. Probiotics support immune healthy by harmonizing immune response and preventing the growth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, unpasteurized pickled vegetables, and tempeh are all full of probiotics and can be easily woven into any diet. Besides traditional food options, probiotic supplements are available and may work to protect individuals against a variety of ailments including respiratory infections, colds, and influenza.

Vitamin C

The familiar advice of being told to consume citrus when feeling a little under the weather comes from the power Vitamin C. Not only found in citrus, but in foods such as broccoli, kiwi, yellow peppers, kale, and a host of other fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is a major player in supporting the immune system. A deficiency may result in lowered immunity and a higher risk of infections and thus if your diet is lacking in foods such as the ones listed above, it might be worth investing in a Vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin required for mineral metabolism, bone health, and immune function, according to research displays a prominent position in supporting immune tolerance in autoimmune conditions. Supplements in Vitamin D are available, but can be found as well in foods such as fish and mushrooms, plus fortified milks, cereal, and oatmeal.

Zinc

Though many may be familiar with Zinc’s importance in battling a bad sunburn, it is also recommended to fight against the common cold. Options such as seafood, animal proteins, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and cashews, as well as supplements, all contain Zinc. Research has found that when zinc lozenges, when consumed at the start of a cold for a minimum of one to two weeks, may assist in reducing symptoms of and the duration of colds.

Omega-3s

The particular Omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) exert their health benefits from their anti-inflammatory properties. These Omega-3s additionally may help lower the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Found highly concentrated in the brain, these Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to cognitive functions such as memory. Being deficient in this key area creates a host of problems, among which are fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, and more. Seafood, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all great sources of Omega-3s.

In order to preserve your health, maintaining a well-balanced and strong immune system plays a key role. By living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on these nutrients you’ll be feeling better and your immune system will thank you for it! If you want to learn more, have a wellness evaluation and find out what supplements are right for you, call us at 410-565-6652.

Image source: iStock



Losing weight is already tough on its own, but some people are making the task harder on themselves with how much sleep they get on a nightly basis.

A new study from Uppsala University found that even just one night of sleep loss can have a significant impact on the tissue that affects the body’s regulation of gene expression and metabolism in humans.

The researchers studied 15 individuals who began the experiment at a healthy weight. They participated in two in-lab sessions where their daily activity and meal patterns were kept uniform. Those researched then alternated between shifts where they slept more than eight hours during one session, and were kept awake the entire night during the other. The following morning, small tissue samples were taken from the participants’ subcutaneous fat and skeletal muscle. These two tissues often exhibit disrupted metabolism in conditions such as obesity and diabetes. At the same time in the morning, blood samples were also taken and were found to comprise of sugar molecules, as well as different fatty and amino acids.

“Our research group were the first to demonstrate that acute sleep loss in and of itself results in epigenetic changes in the so-called clock genes that within each tissue regulate its circadian rhythm. Our new findings indicate that sleep loss causes tissue-specific changes to the degree of DNA methylation in genes spread throughout the human genome. Our parallel analysis of both muscle and adipose tissue further enabled us to reveal that DNA methylation is not regulated similarly in these tissues in response to acute sleep loss,” Jonathan Cedernaes, who led the study, told Science Daily.

Epidemiological studies have shown that those who suffer from chronic sleep loss, or who carry out late-night work shifts, are more likely to be at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes. Other studies have found that disrupted sleep and adverse weight gain were directly associated. In those cases, fat accumulation increased at the same time that muscle mass reduced — a mix associated with numerous adverse health consequences. It wasn’t until this study that experts could definitively say whether sleep loss per se can cause molecular changes at the tissue level that can confer an increased risk of adverse weight gain.

Now, we know that not only is a good night’s slumber important for memory retention and focus throughout the day, but it’s also important for maintaining a healthy weight.

“It will be interesting to investigate to what extent one or more nights of recovery sleep can normalize the metabolic changes that we observe at the tissue level as a result of sleep loss. Diet and exercise are factors that can also alter DNA methylation, and these factors can thus possibly be used to counteract adverse metabolic effects of sleep loss,” Cedernaes added.

If you feel like your sleep cycle is getting in the way of your weight loss goals, contact your primary care physician. You can also simply give us a call to schedule a consultation at 410-565-6552!



Getting Enough Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep every night will help you achieve your weight loss goals!

When we talk about living a healthy lifestyle, most of the time we focus on the food we eat and the exercise we put in at the gym. Of course, these things are really important for anyone looking to lose weight. But there are other components of living well that many people don’t think too much about, like getting enough sleep every night. In fact, a good night’s sleep may be more fundamental to your weight loss efforts than diet or exercise. Here’s what happens when you don’t get enough shut-eye every night.


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