Do you get enough sleep at night?
For the majority of Americans, the answer is NO!
This isn’t hard to tell from the amount of coffee, energy drinks and caffeine supplements we consume as a society.
The occasional consumption of caffeine can have benefits like boosting your mood, performance and metabolism but overconsumption can have adverse health effects. Relying on caffeine to make up for not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can take a toll on your health. The recommended amount of sleep is at least 7-8 hours and research shows that women typically need more sleep than men.
The quality of sleep that you get also matters so if you have trouble falling asleep try creating a nightly bedtime routine to get you ready for a good night’s rest. This routine can include turning off all electronics at least an hour before bed, dimming the lights and reading before bedtime. If you’re still having trouble, try supplementing with Melatonin and/or drinking Chamomile tea before bed.
I can’t stress how important sleep is for your body. When we are resting it allows our body to heal itself and get ready for the next day. Below you will find just a few examples of why sleep is so important.
Lack of sleep can affect your immunity by limiting your body’s ability to prevent sickness or fight off sickness once illness has sets in. When we sleep, our body produces protective proteins called cytokines. Cytokines play a role in targeting infection and inflammation. The less sleep we have, the less we secrete these protective substances.
I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced moodiness after a sleepless night. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, being short-tempered and easily stressed. As a result, this can have a negative impact on the relationships we have with family, friends and in the workplace.
Concentration and Productivity
Getting a good night’s sleep helps improve your ability to learn and retain information. If we don’t get enough sleep it can diminish alertness and concentration which can result in being unproductive. If you have specific goals you want to achieve, getting a good night’s rest can help you take your productivity to the next level!
The less sleep we have the more it can affect the secretion of two hormones that control appetite. Ghrelin (hunger hormone) increases and Leptin (satiety/fullness) decreases when sleep is insufficient. When sleep deprived, people tend to consume more sweet, fatty foods which of course leads to weight gain over time.
Also, when we are tired we may be tempted to drink that large cup of coffee that has tons of added sugar depending on how you like to drink it. This combined with being too tired to hit them gym and the choice to skip cooking a healthy meal for the quick unhealthy option of running by a drive-thru. If this occurs on a regular basis then weight gain is imminent.
While you are sleeping your blood pressure goes down. When you are not sleeping well your blood pressure stays elevated for longer periods of time. Chronic high blood pressure can eventually lead to strain on the cardiovascular system resulting in heart disease. Not to mention sleep deprived individuals tend to have higher levels of stress hormones and it is no secret that stress is not good for the heart.
I personally have a tendency to stay up late on the weekends and when I am traveling which really throws a wrench in my energy levels, mood and my ability to just make healthier decisions in general. This is one area that I plan to really improve upon on my journey to becoming the best version of me!
So now that you know the importance of sleep and how it can affect your health you are going to make it a priority right??? Start aiming to get at least 6 hours of sleep and work your way up from there.
Find Health in Every Day!