Enough sleep is as important as eating well and exercising to achieve a healthier lifestyle

Enough sleep is as important as eating well and exercising to achieve a healthier lifestyle

NUTRITION and exercise are seen as super important when it comes to improving your health but, there is a third factor that contributes to our overall wellness: getting quality sleep.

In a panel webinar discussion held recently titled “Sekaya Prescribing Nature Transforming your Life with Food,” health experts and lifestyle personalities shared some insights on the power of food in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

General Internal Medicine and IFM Certified Medicine Practitioner Dr. Oyie Balburias said sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the three determinants of your health.

“If you don’t compromise these three lifestyle factors, you’re guaranteed to remain healthy,” Dr. Oyie said. “You cannot eat your way out to being healthy lang. You cannot exercise your way out to being healthy, everything is equally important.” 

Dr. Oyie explained that “the biological design of our body is hardwired to our environment so we have what you call a master clock in our brain, we call it the suprachiasmatic nucleus.”

Dr. Oyie said this is “the one that tells our body that it is day time and it’s night time.” This is how our bodies “are able to process our food” and why why eating late at night is not recommended.

“This biological clock is connected to what you call… the different organs of our body have what you call ‘peripheral clocks’,” he said.

“Our stomach stops functioning — it stops digesting after 9 o’clock in the evening,” he added.

Dr. Oyie said this is why there’s a certain time for people to be asleep.

“We’re supposed to be asleep at 9 p.m. and be awake by 6 a.m. because by 2 in the morning all the system of our body is in regenerative mode except for the liver and the skin,” he said.

Dr. Oyie said if a person sleeps late and eats late “some of the food that you are consuming will not be metabolized. That’s why you sleep a little late, you gain a little weight.”

According to Dr. Oyie, when a person is sleep-deprived, his body won’t be able to “produce several substrates that the different system needs for example the different cells that are needed by your immune system to fight off invaders or microorganisms.”

With only 3 to 4 hours of sleep consecutively for several days, a person’s immune system weakens.

Dr. Oyie said this is because your body is “not able to produce the different immune cells and the immune system is responsible for defending and repairing us.”

“It’s not just about exercise, it’s not just about nutrition, it’s also important for us to consider the value of sleep,” he said.

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