While much of my work with clients in McKinney, TX is about diet and exercise, I do also emphasize the need for consistent sleep. It’s not really a popular idea to get adequate sleep anymore. Part of our culture has become burning the candle at both ends and late nights at the office. Even people who don’t focus on work, focus on partying all night. Inadequate sleep can pose a health risk. It’s responsible for many accidental deaths from automobile accidents, but also affects the overall health of the body.
Your hunger hormones go crazy when you need sleep.
Have you ever noticed how hungry you get when you’re tired. Part of that comes from wanting a sugar high to boost your energy. However, it’s not all about needing energy. Lack of sleep plays havoc with your hunger hormones. The two hormones that influence how much energy the body needs by inducing hunger or the feeling of being full are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells your brain that you’re full and ghrelin tells the brain to break out the chips, I’m starving. When you don’t get consistent adequate sleep, you body produces too much ghrelin and too little leptin. That means your always hungry and it takes far more to feel full. That’s a real diet buster!
Sure you’re tired! Not only is your body dragging through the day, other changes are occurring.
Cutting sleep for a party or work occasionally isn’t a problem, the problem occurs when you regularly get too little sleep. It causes a great deal of stress on your body just to make it through the day. It also doesn’t give the body time to heal properly. That stress produces cortisol, just as it would if you were faced by a wild animal. Cortisol is associated with abdominal fat. The stress also causes inflammation and there’s where the serious problem occurs. Chronic inflammation causes fatigue, depression, gastrointestinal problems, weight gain and chronic infections. It also can cause rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, gum disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
You’ll slow your mental processing, too.
While you’re sleeping, your brain isn’t. It’s actually cleaning house. It maintains the neural pathways to make learning possible and organizes your thoughts and the day’s inputs for memories. During sleep, the toxins that accumulated throughout the day are removed from the brain. While you sleep, you dream, which scientists think may be how you process emotions.
- There’s no exact amount of sleep necessary for everyone. It varies from individual to individual. The average person needs between 7 and 9 hour if they’re an adult. There are a few that require more, with ten being their average and a few that require less, or approximately six hours.
- Good sleep hygiene can be attained in some cases by simply setting regular hours to go to bed and wake up in the morning. If you find your problem is poor sleep habits, stick with the schedule even on weekends.
- One study found that people who didn’t get enough sleep had slow responses when awake and activity in areas of the brain that are normally active during sleep. Those areas were napping while others were awake.
- Lack of sleep produces the same response when driving as driving while drunk. If you aren’t convinced to get more sleep for your body’s health, do it to avoid injuring or killing someone in an accident when you drive.