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Episode 42: How To Improve Your Sleep To Impact Your Weight Loss


How To Improve Your Sleep To Impact Your Weight Loss

Sleep is such an essential part of living. We spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and for good reason! Can you even imagine going a full day without sleep? We already know what sleep deprivation does to us mentally and physically. Unfortunately, sleep has taken a backseat in our fast-paced lives. It has become something people take for granted. Sleep is important for us, not just for our cognition but also for our overall health. It is especially important in obesity and weight loss. To tell us more about how sleep affects our overall health and how sleep deprivation relates to obesity, we have with us, Dr. Smita Patel. 

Dr. Smita Patel is Board certified in Neurology, Sleep Medicine, and Integrated Medicine. She has launched iNeuro Institute which provides services in Integrative Neurology and sleep education.

Key Takeaways:

Tune in to my conversation with Dr. Smita Patel and learn about:

  • Why sleep is so important for our overall health
  • Why “catching up” on sleep is not a real thing
  • Sleep and our circadian rhythm
  • How much sleep do we really need?
  • Are power naps recommended for adults? When is the best time to take a nap?
  • The role of sleep in obesity and how does obesity affect the quality of sleep?
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea and how to recognize it

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep (by your spouse or significant other)
  • Abrupt awakening accompanied by gasping or choking
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • Large neck size

Recommended Hours of Sleep per Day by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

  • Infants or newborns: 14-17 hours
  • Toddlers aged 1-2: 11-14 hours
  • Children aged 6-13: 9-11 hours
  • Teens aged 14-17: 8-10 hours
  • Adults and elderly: 7-9 hours

Hormones Affected By Partial Sleep Deprivation:

  • Induces insulin resistance (the hormone that allows your body to use glucose for energy)
  • Leptin (the hormone that makes you feel full) goes down
  • Ghrelin (the hormone that makes you feel hungry) goes up

Dr. Smita Patel’s Tips on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. If you have to take a nap, limit it to 20, 30 up to 45 minutes in the afternoon.
  2. Have a bedtime ritual to prepare your body for sleep. Read a book, brush your teeth, wash your face, dim the lights, change into sleeping clothes and go to sleep.
  3. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. It starts with a good mattress. And try as much as possible to not work, eat, check your emails in the bedroom. Keeping your room as a place to sleep is a positive association with sleep. 
  4. Really try to focus on relaxing and sleeping.
  5. Stay off your phones near bedtime. Turn off the wifi. If you still need to use your phone or computer, use blue light filters when looking at your screens.

Nutrition and Optimal Dinner for a Good Night’s Sleep:

  1. Have a healthy dinner – low carb, high fiber – about four hours before bedtime.
  2. If you’re going to have a bedtime snack, make sure it has a healthy proportion of protein, fat, and carbs (e.g., half an apple and 1 tablespoon of nut butter)
  3. Avoid having foods high in salt as it will impair your quality of sleep and make you thirsty throughout the night.
  4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime.


Dr. Avishkar Sabharwal:

People who have difficulty falling asleep at night should not have a high carbohydrate meal at nighttime and they should have a lower carbohydrate meal for dinner so that they can fall asleep better.”

Dr. Smita Patel:

“An overall healthy diet is important for good sleep, as well as all-around good health.”

“Be consistent with bedtime and wake time, I think you’ll be on your way to success.” 



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Dr. Smita Patel- iNeuro Institute

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