Does lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Not enough sleep causes our bodies store fat

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make us feel less full after eating.

After spending a week getting plenty of sleep at home, 15 healthy men in their 20s checked into the sleep lab for the ten-night study. For five of those nights the men spent no more than five hours in bed each night.

The researchers gave participants a standardized high-fat dinner – a bowl of chili mac – after four nights of sleep restriction.

Most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep deprived than when they had eaten it well-rested.

A bowl of mac and cheese only feels filling and satisfying if you are well rested

If you are tired and sleep-deprived, you’ll want a second helping

Lack of sleep also changes the way our bodies metabolize the fats from our food

Researchers also found that men who were sleep deprived tended to store the fat from their evening meal. But when the person was well rested, less fat was stored from their food.

The experimenters had a simulated work week – five nights of only 5 hours of sleep. And a whole weekend of 10 hours sleep per night, to catch up on the lost shut-eye.

But even after the weekend rest, the volunteers biological reaction to food did not revert back to what it was before the experiment.

After the first night of good sleep they ate a bowl of chili mac and cheese. Although participants’ metabolic handling of fat from their food was slightly better after one night of recovery sleep, they didn’t recover to the baseline healthy level.


In other news : It’s not what you eat but when you eat, that makes a difference

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The experiment shows that the effects of lack of sleep continue, even when we have got back into a good sleep pattern. But the researchers did not find how many nights of good sleep, it takes, to get back to a healthy reaction to high fat food.

It might take several, continuous nights, of good sleep for our bodies to return to what they were before the sleep deprivation period.

Or maybe, or bodies never recover from a period of poor sleep. The experiment ended after 10 days, so the researchers don’t have those answers.

But one thing is clear; for those of us who want to reduce the fat on our bodies, we need to get to bed and get some quality shut-eye. Sweet dreams!


Source: https://www.jlr.org/content/60/11/1935

Photos: Feet in bed at Pexels.com | Baked mac and cheese by Ronmar Lacamiento at Pexels.com


 

What words can strengthen a relationship in financially stressful times?

Financial stress can sometime strengthen a relationship

These current huge financial challenges can put a significant strain on romantic relationships.

So how to maintain and even strengthen your relationship in times of financial stress?

Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered how relationships survive financial pressure, and even become stronger.

“Financial stressors happen to everyone. They happen more often and to a greater extent to some people than others, but everyone experiences financial stress,” sayd Ashley LeBaron, a doctoral student in the University of Arizona. “If they use that stress as a catalyst to make positive changes in the relationship, it can be an opportunity to grow closer together, instead of having that stress tear you apart.” LeBaron added.

LeBaron found that the strongest relationships were those in which partners remembered to practice “relationship maintenance behaviors,” including respecting one another, being there for one another, and showing love and affection for one another.

Some examples of
“Relationship Maintenance Behaviours”

  • Being grateful for each other’s efforts
  • Listening without distraction
  • Listening without judgement

Surprisingly, the best words are not “I love You”


The best words to strengthen a relationship? Although “I love you” might seem like the best contender.

But research, by the Open University, has shown that the best words to use, for longer lasting relationships are

…… drumroll please ….

“Thank you”.

The best words to strengthen a relationship.

Research reveals that showing gratitude towards your partner and appreciating what they do, is the most important part of a strong and stable relationship.

Just thanking your partner helps strengthen a relationship. Even if your partner’s efforts weren’t successful, thanking them for trying, creates a stronger bond.

Couples that have a stronger bond, are more likely to survive a financial crisis, with their relationship intact.

Thanking your significant other for the smallest thing, strengthens a bond.

They bring you a cup of coffee? Try looking at them in the eye and saying, sincerely, “Thank you. That’s kind of you.” You might be amazed at how good it feels and how well it’s received.


Source: https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/what-helps-couples-weather-financial-storms

Photo: Couple in bed Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels.com | I love you words by Photo by Řaj Vaishnaw from Pexels.com


Middle age stress is greater now than in the 1990’s

Stress in middle aged people is greater now than in 1990s

Research shows that the 2010 decade was more stressful for everyone than the 1990’s decade.

No surprises there!

In 2010, at the start of that decade, the impact of the 2008 financial crisis was reaching its peak.

And many countries are still reeling from that shock and from that worldwide crisis.

These days, endless memes and social media would have us believe that millenials are the most stressed. But the research says otherwise.

A team of researchers led by Penn State found that across all ages, there was a slight increase in daily stress in the dacade from 2010 to 2020 compared to the 1990’s. But when researchers restricted the sample to people between the ages of 45 and 64, there was a sharp increase in daily stress.

Everyone is feeling more stressed this past decade, than they were in the 1990’s

But middle aged people – aged 45 to 64 – are feeling it the hardest

“We thought that with the economic uncertainty, life might be more stressful for younger adults. But we didn’t see that.

We saw more stress for people at mid-life. And maybe that’s because they have children who are facing an uncertain job market while also responsible for their own parents.

So it’s this generational squeeze that’s making stress more prevalent for people at mid-life.”

David M. Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Penn State

More Responsibilities = More Stress

“It may have to do with people at mid-life being responsible for a lot of people,” Almeida said.

“They’re responsible for their children, oftentimes they’re responsible for their parents, and they may also be responsible for employees at work.


Stress makes it difficult for us to plan because it impairs our memory

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And with that responsibility comes more daily stress, and maybe that’s happening more so now than in the past.”

More News + Social Media = More Stress

Additionally, Almeida said the added stress could partially be due to life “speeding up” due to technological advances. This could be particularly true during stressful times like the coronavirus pandemic, when tuning out the news can seem impossible.

“With people always on their smartphones, they have access to constant news and information that could be overwhelming,” Almeida said.


Source: https://news.psu.edu/story/618484/2020/05/07/research/middle-age-may-be-much-more-stressful-now-1990s

Photo: Greyscale bald middle aged man by Brett Sayles at Pexels.com


Stress makes it difficult for us to plan because it impairs our memory

We use our memory to look back at our past.

But we also use our memories of what has happened in the past, to plan our futures.

When we are stressed, we cannot retrieve memories as quickly or as accurately. And that impairs our ability to plan for the future.

Stressing out about a problem can make finding a solution even harder.

Stressing out over a problem can make finding a solution even harder.

Researchers Stanford University conducted experiments where they monitored participants’ behavior and brain activity — via fMRI — as they navigated through virtual towns. After participants became very familiar with the winding routes in a dozen virtual towns, they were dropped onto one of the memorized paths and told to find their way to a particular point.

Some of the participants were told they would receive a mild electric shock at random. These participants – who were worried about a random electric shock – performed less well that the others who were not threatened with electric shocks.


Middle age stress is greater now than in the 1990’s

Read more …

Participants who didn’t have to worry about being randomly shocked tended to find shortcuts based on memories acquired from prior journeys. Whereas the stressed participants tended to fall back on the meandering, habitual routes.

It’s possible that people who are suffering with financial stress, fail to make effective plans to help deal with financial problem. And that may make their financial situation even worse.


Source: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200403115103.htm

Photos: Red pencil stress words by Pedro Figueras | Man and laptop by Oladimeji Ajegbile