Scientists have discovered that insufficient sleep is now one of the most significant lifestyle factors influencing whether you will develop Alzheimer’s disease. According to Matthew Walker in his book Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams our brain has a ‘remarkable sewage system’, called the glymphatic system, which, when we enter deep sleep, cleanses the brain of a sticky, toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s, known as beta amyloid. Without a sufficient night’s sleep our brain is unable to cleanse, and the Alzheimer’s disease risk heightens.
Another negative aspect of sleep deprivation is increased potential for weight gain. Insufficient sleep raises the level of hormone that makes you feel hungry whilst suppressing a hormone that otherwise signals food satisfaction. The subsequent imbalance has the effect of making you want to eat more, despite being full.
With respect to meals, how varied is your weekly, monthly, seasonal menu? Do you eat the same meals on a week by week basis? Try and set yourself a challenge of cooking one or two new recipes each week! If you are struggling for ideas, drop me a line, in the meantime try our delicious recipe from Ottolenghi.