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April 17, 2018
 

Obsessed With Tracking Your Sleeping Habits? You May Have Something Called Orthosomnia.

Rest is an important part of mentally and physically recharging, so it's no wonder that everyone's trying to get as much quality shut-eye as they possibly can. Now that apps and wearable trackers have replaced the bags under our eyes as qualifiers for whether or not we had a great night's sleep, the game has definitely changed.


Considering how frustrating sleep issues such as fragmented sleep and insomnia can be, it's understandable that people go out of their way to treat them with the help of sleep trackers. However, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, relying on technology to help you treat sleep issues is a slippery slope that can lead to a disorder called orthosomnia.


Researchers coined the term to describe people who are obsessed with getting perfect sleep. In a bid to study the effects of trackers on sleeping habits of adults in the US — of whom an estimated 10 percent wear fitness trackers — researchers found the use of trackers to closely monitor sleeping habits would "reinforce sleep-related anxiety or perfectionism for some patients," with the consequent result being that, "Each patient was seeking treatment due to perceived insufficient sleep or periods of restlessness or light sleep."


Although the study's results didn't take into account whether or not participants had previously suffered from sleep disorders, these findings shed light on the importance of listening to your own body. Fitness trackers are rarely 100 percent accurate when tracking basic readings such as counting calories or runs, so you might want to take your nightly sleep analysis with a pinch of salt. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.

People with Type 2 diabetes who eat breakfast later, more likely to have a higher BMI

Being an "evening person" is linked to higher body mass indices among people with Type 2 diabetes, and having breakfast later in the day seems to be what drives this association, according to a new paper in the journal Diabetic Medicine.

Obesity is common among people with Type 2 diabetes. Having an evening preference—waking up later and going to bed later—has been linked to an increased risk for obesity, but research is lacking regarding this phenomenon among people with Type 2 diabetes.


Researchers led by Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, wanted to determine if morning or evening preference among people with Type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk for higher BMI and if so, what specific factors about evening preference contributed to the increased risk.


Reutrakul and her colleagues recruited 210 non-shift workers living in Thailand with Type 2 diabetes for their study. Morning/evening preference was assessed using a questionnaire that focused on preferred time for waking up and going to bed; time of day spent exercising; and time of day spent engaged in mental activity (working, reading, etc.). Scores on the questionnaire can range from 13, indicating extreme evening preference, to 55 indicating extreme morning preference. Participants with an evening preference were those who scored less than 45 on the questionnaire, while those with morning preference scored a 45 or higher.


Participants were interviewed regarding their meal timing, and daily caloric intake was determined via self-reported one-day food recalls. Weight measurements were taken and BMI was calculated for each participant. Sleep duration and quality were measured by self-report and questionnaire.
Self-reported average sleep duration was 5.5 hours/night. On average, participants consumed 1,103 kcal/day. The average BMI among all participants was 28.4 kg/m2—considered overweight. Of the participants, 97 had evening preference and 113 had morning preference.


Participants with morning preference ate breakfast between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., while participants with evening preference ate breakfast between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.


Participants with morning preference had earlier meal timing, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and the last meal.


The researchers found that having more evening preference was associated with higher BMI. Caloric intake and lunch and dinner times were not associated with having a higher BMI.


Morning preference was associated with earlier breakfast time and lower BMI by 0.37 kg/m2.


"Later breakfast time is a novel risk factor associated with a higher BMI among people with Type 2 diabetes," said Reutrakul. "It remains to be investigated if eating breakfast earlier will help with body weight in this population."

Reutrakul speculates that later meal times may misalign the internal biological clock, which plays a role in circadian regulation. Circadian misalignment can lead to dysregulation of energy metabolism according to previous studies.

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