Other than proper exercise, and balanced diet there is one more crucial thing that ensures our overall well-being – proper sleep. For those of you who compromise on good sleep, some of the most recent studies warns against the lack of it. Not only does lack of proper sleep lead to weight gain, mood swings, headache, low performance, lethargy, it can also mess with our brain functions. A novel study warns against the lack of sleep as well as the excess of it. According to experts at University of Pittsburgh, US, both too short and too long sleep durations in pregnancy are associated with extremes of gestational weight gain.
“We know that poor sleep in pregnancy has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes,” said one of the researchers Francesca Facco from Magee-Womens Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh, US.
“Our findings provide a potential mechanism for poor sleep in pregnancy and adverse outcomes,” Facco added.
The study involved 751 nulliparous women with a singleton gestation. They were recruited to wear an actigraph to record objective sleep activity for seven consecutive days. Women with pre-gestational diabetes and chronic hypertension were excluded from the study.Sleep duration was calculated as an average across study nights.
While the majority of women (74.8 percent) had a sleep duration between seven and nine hours, the data suggested that both short and long sleep duration in pregnancy are associated with gestational weight gain. The findings will be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting in Atlanta, US.
Sleep and Women’s Health
Another study stresses on the importance of good sleep for women’s overall good health. According to experts at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US, women who have more regular sleep schedules, including regular bedtimes across weekdays and weekends, have improved metabolic health. Disrupting biological timing and high bedtime variability may harm glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis — the balance between food intake and energy expenditure, the findings revealed.
“Irregular sleep schedules, including highly variable bedtimes and staying up much later than usual, are associated in midlife women with insulin resistance, which is an important indicator of metabolic health, including diabetes risk,” said senior author Martica Hall, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US.
In addition to sleeping seven or more hours per night on a regular basis, adults should strive to maintain a consistent schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same times on weekdays and weekends, the researchers stressed. The research team analyzed data from the SWAN Sleep Study, an ancillary project to the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). The community-based sample comprised 370 Caucasian, African American and Chinese non-shift working women between the ages of 48 and 58 years.
Results show that greater variability in bedtime and greater bedtime delay were associated with higher insulin resistance, and greater bedtime advance was associated with higher body mass index (BMI), the findings, published in the journal Sleep, revealed. In prospective analyses, greater bedtime delay – for example, staying up 2 hours later than usual – also predicted an increase in insulin resistance 5 years later.