I thought in today’s post I could talk about the importance of sleep because:
a) Sleep is a vitally important part of health and weight loss goals that is often overlooked
b) Having had 2 nights of rubbish sleep I am sympathising with anyone who is sleep deprived
c) It gives me an excuse to post a photo of a zOMG CUTE PUPPY SLEEPING!!!!!!
Some Background Info About What Is Going On
In 2009 a study titled “Role of Sleep and Sleep Loss in Hormonal Release and Metabolism” looked at how sleep impacts us. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3065172/
Right off the bat, the first thing to know is that “Hormones that influence glucose regulation and appetite control are influenced by sleep”.
Ok, in English, that means:
The hormones in your body, leptin and ghrelin, are partly dependent on sleep timing, duration and quality. These hormones play a big part in your appetite regulation i.e how hungry you feel. When you are not getting enough sleep, these hormones start getting out of whack and mess with how hungry you feel. This often leads to you eating more or wanting to eat more than you usually would.
Let's face it, when you feel like that, it's not usually fruit and veg you binge on.
Glucose tolerance is a term for describing how well the cells in your body identify and use the glucose in your bloodstream. A continual lack of sleep can keep glucose tolerance impaired which can lead to a greater risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Whilst we’re talking about hormones, being sleep deprived can also wreck havoc with your cortisol levels. In this article, it discusses how a study showed how cortisol levels are impacted in a negative way in a way which also increases the likely hood of becoming obese and developing type 2 diabetes. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825
Sleep can impact your immune system.
The immune system is a complex system and studies have shown that being in a sleep deprived state suppresses the immune system. This means you can be more susceptible to infections, colds, flu’s etc and no one wants that.
That’s not all though; having a suppressed immune system also impacts how well your body can respond to fighting infections once you have them.
It messes with your... your.... errr...
No need to explain this one as I’m sure everyone has had at least one night of shitty sleep – it really affects your concentration to be able to complete even simple tasks and remember things, let alone driving and handling sharp knives.
Let's now look at some strategies to help improve the quality of sleep you are getting and to help make sure you are getting enough sleep.
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!