Lack of sleep is one of the suspects in the increase in obesity and in autoimmune disorders. We always sort of knew that people who slept less tended to feel hungrier and eat more, but it turns out that people who sleep less will gain weight even when calories are 100% controlled. As for the arthritis, I just know that there's ongoing research suggesting that lack of sleep contributes to all sort of inflammation and autoimmune issues. I haven't followed that research very much because it's not one of the major health issues in my family, but I think it's a pretty important thing to look into. If you Google "sleep deprivation arthritis," you should find quite a bit of information.
Thank you all for your replies. I think i will keep up what i'm doing (including late night snacks to the previous day), because i'll know i can't have anything unless it fits in my calories so i won't overdo it. Otherwise, i'm liable to say, "Hey, it's after midnight... i'm gonna eat a chocolate fudge sundae! New day, new calories!" (Not really, ya'll... just saying.)
Hey, ANARIE, what do you mean by the arthritis being another reason to research sleep and health? I'm actually getting a sleep study done by my doctor because i've been having major sleep issues. I fall asleep during the day while working, even if i've had enough sleep the night before. It's miserable.
Thank you all for all of the comments! Stay healthy!
I would count everything I ate between the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep on the same day even if it is after midnight. I think it makes it easier for me to see what I'm doing that day as a whole if it is all together.
I don't think it matters too much what you choose to do as long as you are consistent.
8/3/13 10:32 A
I work 7pm to 3am and eat my dinner at work. When I get home I just back up the day on the tracker and enter what I ate. The next day when I wake up around noon, it is the start of a new day. Maybe SparkPeople should create a customizable(is that a word) tracker so we can set the start time of our day.
8/3/13 9:55 A
I usually go by my waking day. With your schedule I pick a time frame and stay there.
Not a stupid question at all, as you can see from how seriously most people have thought about it.
It's definitely a personal decision, with no right or wrong answer. Personally, if I have planned to be up past midnight, I count it on the previous day. If it's an unplanned impulse snack, I take it out of the next day and call it "morning snack." Since I don't normally eat a morning snack, I will always see it in my records and know that it was extra calories that happened because I stayed up too late. To me, it's more a way of tracking sleep issues than meals.
And that might be an issue for you, too. Lack of sleep is a known factor in obesity and also in autoimmune problems. I noticed something about arthritis on your SparkPage, so you've got double reason to think about and research sleep and health.
Fitness Minutes: (97,133)
8/3/13 9:11 A
I track by my waking day. If I haven't gone to bed yet, I count it all on the same day's meals and snacks. Seems to help keep me from indulging in late night snacks (one of my weaknesses) unless it still fits into my range.
But as some previously posters said, you need to do what works for you, and once you figure it out, just do it consistently. Good luck!!
8/3/13 8:32 A
I work nights, 7P-7A, and I normally just make sure I chart a BF, lunch and dinner for each day. If I'm working, eat breakfast around 8AM, sleep, eat lunch before work around 6, and dinner at work around 2 am. So that is my "day," even though my dinner is technically the next day. Snacks before lunch or dinner go on that day too. That's what works best for me, but tweak your system until you find something that works for you! If I had a job with a normal schedule, I'd prob go with the traditional 24 hours, but this works better for me!
Fitness Minutes: (129,093)
8/3/13 7:38 A
I agree with Slimmerkiwi. I use the actual calendar. If I eat after midnight I log it in as a snack for that actual next day.
If you use a Fitbit to track your exercise it clears its numbers at midnight. This works for me.
8/3/13 4:59 A
I agree with the pp-- do what works for you. Normally I count a "day" as ending when I go to bed. Doesn't matter if I go to bed *today* or technically it's so late, it's *tomorrow* already.
Decide what works best for you, with your schedule. One woman that I know said that she always started tracking her day with her evening meal. She said it was the meal that she was most likely to over eat. By starting her tracking in the evening she had already indulged herself and didn't mind having more spartan meals at breakfast and lunch. Her day started at dinner. Let your day start and end where you want and need it to. Track it. That's the important thing. Track your 24 hour day according to your own life. This may sound a bit preachy but I have wasted a lot of grey matter worrying about this type of minutia. It's not important to fall into some grand scheme. It is important that you make changes and adjustments that will fit into your own life.
Okay, here's kind of a silly question... when you are tracking your foods for a day, how do you define each day? Do you start tracking new foods after midnight? Or does going to sleep equate the end of your day?
Here's why i ask... i often work late, until... well, it's 3:00 AM right now, and i'm still working. I just ate something. When choosing it, i made sure that it was within my calories for what was technically yesterday. I went to track it and suddenly began wondering what others do. I tracked it on yesterday's date, because i still haven't gone to sleep and technically it's 4th meal, right??
How do you track your food when you eat after midnight?
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