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The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep

We all wish we could get more sleep. It is a luxury in life that often seems to escape us. Did you know that your sleeping habits may be hurting you? Whether it means going to bed early or sleeping in,  get more sleep!

Drawbacks

Poor sleep has a negative effect on many different aspects of your life; including hormones, performance, concentration, weight gain and brain function. Over time, poor sleep can lead to weight gain and even increase risk of disease. Obesity and poor sleeping patterns are strongly tied together. Some studies have shown that those who have bigger appetites and eat too much do not sleep as well as those who eat fewer calories. Being deprived of sleep can negatively affect the body circadian rhythm and lead to poor appetite regulation. Leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite, is reduced. On the other hand, ghrelin, the hormone that tells us we are hungry, is heightened. The generation of nerve cells takes a hit when sleep deprived. This means that cognitive function and memory are affected.

Along with weight gain, risks of heart disease and stroke are increased. People who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep a night are at higher risk for these diseases. Poor sleep reduces insulin sensitivity and causes symptoms of pre-diabetes. There is a connection between type II diabetes and short sleeping cycles. Carbohydrate tolerance and insulin sensitivity is negatively impacted with poor sleep. This affects your weight and may even counterbalance the hard work you do throughout the day to eat right and watch your weight.  

Aside all of the physical issues that poor sleep can cause, mental health issues can also be present. People with depression and anxiety often experience poor sleeping patterns. Emotional and social interactions suffer when you lack sleep. The ability to process emotional information and pick up on social cues is limited. 

Inflammation, the foundation of many modern diseases, often accompanies poor sleep, especially within the digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel diseases are more common in individuals who get little sleep. Instead of reaching for a refined food, choose a real food that will not greatly affect blood sugar.

Benefits 

On the contrary, good sleep will help your weight loss journey, recovery, and energy levels. Concentration, productivity, and cognition are all positively impacted when you get a good nights sleep. Athletic and overall physical performance is greatly enhanced with a solid night’s rest. Short power naps versus long, midday naps can be beneficial. Napping for 30 minutes or less has been shown to enhance brain function. 

Getting good sleep improves your body’s immune functions. What happens when you get a cold and are running on 4 hours of sleep? Your body does not have the strength to fight off the common cold without adequate sleep. In fact, those who get less than 7 hours of sleep are more likely to catch a cold versus those who get a solid 8 hours. Sleep boosts mood, energy, athletic performance, the ability to tolerate stress, and memory.

Too Busy Bullets

- Poor sleep negatively affects hormones, performance, concentration, weight, and brain function.

- Mental illness, heart disease, stroke, inflammation, and diabetes are also tied to unhealthy sleeping patterns.

Concentration, productivity, cognition, and overall physical performance are all positively impacted when you get a good nights sleep. 

- The bottom line...SLEEP! 

 

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