Facts with Hope
FACT: Sleep-deprived teens make poor food choices. Researchers examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a sample of 13,000 teens nationwide, and found that those who got fewer than seven hours of sleep per night were less likely than well-rested peers to eat fruits and vegetables and more likely to have eaten fast food two or more times in the past week. The results took into account factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity and family structure.1
HOPE: Teenagers are especially vulnerable to staying up late at night. Helping them to establish healthy sleep habits now is a vital strategy in preventing obesity and other health risks as adults.
FACT: Multitasking negatively affects productivity and efficiency. A study conducted by the University of London found that workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers. Another study noted that multitaskers had slower response times, perhaps due to information overload and the inability to quickly selectively filter out which is important. Multitasking also contributes to the release of stress hormones, which can lead to obesity, heart disease and decreased immune function.2
HOPE: Rather than multitasking, God holds to the practical power of “one thing.” Matthew 6:33 reminds us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV). Each morning, present your day to Him, trusting that what needs to get done will get done.
FACT: People who eat a large variety of foods are also the ones with the healthiest sleep patterns. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that people who sleep 7 - 8 hours each night had a higher food variety (considered an indicator of a healthy diet) compared to people who sleep less or more, even when they took into account other factors that might explain this relationship, such as demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity, and obesity.3
HOPE: Although this research doesn’t indicate whether sleep duration is promoting a health diet, or vice versa, the bottom-line is that they are connected. To boost your health, consider positive changes in food choices and sleep habits.
FACT: Research has found that employee health and well-being improves even after short (4-5 days) vacations. Working during vacation, however, negatively influenced health and well-being after vacation.4
HOPE: Centuries ago, Jesus also found that getting away for short periods rejuvenated Him to continue His demanding work of teaching and healing (Mark 6:31; Luke 6:12). Whether you are able to get away for a 4-5 day vacation, take a weekly Sabbath rest, or spend time in daily prayer, resolve to disconnect completely from work to maximize your health and well-being.
- Stony Brook Medicine (2013, June 20). Sleep deprivation in teens linked to poor dietary choices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2013/06/130620162746.htm
- Hallowell, E. M. (2006). CrazyBusy: Overstretched, overbooked, and about to snap. Strategies for coping in a world gone ADD. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Grandner, M. A., Jackson, N., Gerstner, J. R. & Knutson, K. L. Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample. (2013). Appetite 64, 71–80. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2013.01.004
- de Bloom, J., Geurts, S. A. & Kompier, M. A. (2012). Effects of short vacations, vacation activities and experiences on employee health and well-being. Stress Health 28(4), 305-18. doi: 10.1002/smi.1434.