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[Weekender] Eating, sleeping habits key to healthy night activities

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Published : 2014-07-04 21:30
Updated : 2014-07-04 21:37

In order to maintain a well-balanced routine, plenty of sleep and proper eating habits can be helpful, a medical expert in Seoul said Friday.

“Nighttime activities, although generally demanding on your health, are not all harmful as long as they are balanced with sufficient sleep and careful eating habits,” Lee Jung-kwon, family medicine professor at Samsung Medical Center, said in an interview with The Korea Herald. “If people just remember a few important tips it can make a huge difference in how they enjoy their evenings.”
Lee Jung-kwon (Samsung Medical Center)

The biggest issues with staying out late are primarily sleep deprivation and poor digestion, Lee explained.

“Anyone who gets less than six hours of sleep per day may experience a loss in physical ability, a poor sense of balance and slow reflexes,” said Lee.

“Moreover, it may also cause headaches, emotional distress and, in the worst cases, high blood pressure, cardiovascular illnesses, fluctuations in weight and memory loss,” he added.

Getting at least seven hours of sleep and exposure to plenty of sunlight during the day can be helpful, but nighttime eating habits are equally important, especially for preventing indigestion.

“The food you consume during nighttime ― while your metabolism is low and you are secreting lower levels of gastric acid ― does not get used as a source of energy but rather gets accumulated inside your body, which can eventually lead to indigestion and other stomach problems,” said Lee.

Since lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health, Lee suggests it is better to maintain a uniform sleep cycle.

“It is crucial that you get out of bed at a consistent hour in order to maintain a normal biorhythm,” he said. “That and sticking to a well-rounded diet are both key to a healthy evening routine.”

By Kim Joo-hyun (jhk@heraldcorp.com)

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