We need to make sleep a priority. Unfortunately, some consider sleep to be a waste of time. Just the opposite is true. Sleep is critical for your emotional, physical and neurological well-being. There is NO substitute!
Too many of us fight sleep, not wanting to miss out on anything. Unfortunately, as with most things in life, there are consequences. Here are nine reasons why you should turn off the light tonight!
- Your immune system will be stronger. We know that sleep is necessary for a normal functioning immune system. At the very least, you might get less severe colds or flu. At best, good sleep habits can help fight off more serious disease.
- Your memory will improve, and so might your ability to learn new information. It has been fully demonstrated that sleep is necessary for memory cognition. Actually, studies proved when subjects got a good night’s sleep after learning new information they performed much better on testing. They also showed improvement in learning new dance steps and advancing their golf swing.
- You’ll feel better emotionally. We know that chronically sleep-deprived people have a much higher incidence of anxiety disorders and depression. This is probably due to sleep’s critical role in emotional processing, which takes place during REM (dream sleep)but, it is by no means confined only to this stage of sleep.
- Your brain will be clearer. Neuroplasticity – the ability to form new pathways and connections – is very much sleep dependent. During sleep our brain performs several regenerative processes. Sleep fosters neuroplasticity which improves learning and memory.
- You’ll help repair and grow new tissue. It is during sleep that we produce most of our growth hormone. In adults, it is important for tissue (muscle and skin) repair. If you are exercising, it is crucial to get enough sleep to allow your musculoskeletal system to restore itself.
- You’ll help stabilize your blood sugar level. We know that sleep-deprived people have a higher incidence of diabetes. This is because sleep deprivation leads to insulin resistance.
- You can improve your HDL. According to data published in Scientific Reports, cholesterol regulation was not effective in sleep-deprived people versus those who got enough sleep.
- You just may lose weight. Want to flatten your belly? Get seven to eight hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep leads to excessive production of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is an appetite-promoting hormone and impedes the production of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone.
- You may live longer. Study after study has shown that those of us who chronically get less than seven hours a night sleep have a shorter lifespan and far are more likely to develop high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks.
It’s important to realize that it doesn’t take much time for the body to suffer the negative impacts of inadequate sleep. Studies proved that just one week of insufficient sleep begins to change the body’s immune response and metabolism. If you believe that sleep deprivation is interpreted by the body as a stress, take heed and get more sleep – tonight!
If we can help with more advice for you or your loved one on ways to start a successful exercise program or ways to change your behavior, visit our website www.lorimichielfitness, contact us via email or call us at 818-620-1442. We see fitness differently!
Eric J. Olson, M.D., Mayo Clinic
Scientific Reports (2016; doi:10.1038/srep24828)
Kwakkel et al., 2014.
Xie L, Kang H, Xu Q, et al. “Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain.”
- H. Bonnet and D. L. Arand, “Clinical effects of sleep fragmentation versus sleep deprivation,” Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 297–310, 2003.
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