Why Sleep Matters Even More Than You Think

Filed under: Weight Loss

Woman enjoying good sleep

We all know that sleep is important. When you don’t get enough sleep, you feel tired, cranky, and lethargic. You don’t feel like performing your job duties, you might feel snappy toward your loved ones, and you certain don’t feel like doing your regular chores. But beyond your mood and daily activities, sleep impacts a lot more than you might think. Adequate sleep is actually crucial to your health, especially in the following four areas.

Metabolism. Our bodies have built-in mechanisms to help us during times of stress, famine, war, natural disasters, and so on. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain triggers a “survival mode” type of mechanism, which slows your metabolism in order to conserve energy. This is fantastic news for anyone battling for their life in a survival situation, but you don’t want to trigger this response while living your everyday life. You won’t burn calories quickly enough, and you will probably gain weight as a result.

Energy. It’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can make you feel tired and grumpy. Yo u don’t perform well at work, or want to run routine errands. But you also won’t feel like hitting the gym, either, or going for a walk after dinner. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you will start skipping your workouts – something that you really don’t want to do when your metabolism is slowed!

Appetite. A slower metabolism is just one way that inadequate sleep can impact your weight. Sleep helps to regulate ghrelin and leptin, appetite hormones that help your body recognize sensations like fullness. When these hormones are thrown off kilter, you will probably experience cravings for comfort foods like donuts and ice cream.

Disease prevention. Sleep even helps to regulate your immune system, and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to immune damage. You might get sick more often, and at least one study has linked diabetes with a lack of sleep. Research has even uncovered a relationship between sleep deprivation and risk factors for heart disease, such as higher levels of inflammation and increased heart rate.

As you can see, sleep impact much more than your mood! Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, invest in solutions for your problem. Some people find that ear plugs, room darkening shades, white noise, a better pillow, or a new mattress make all the difference. You know that your body needs nutritious foods to function properly; remember that giving yourself adequate time to rest is another important form of nourishment.

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