There are times when you absolutely are up against the wall and have to work late into the night, but those times shouldn’t be every week. You’re either trying to do too much or have poor planning. You need a good night’s rest to get the maximum accomplished in the hours you’re awake and unfortunately, too few Americans do that. Even if you’re eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly, you’ll still be putting your health at risk and your efforts to lose weight when you don’t get enough sleep.
You need sleep so your body can do repairs.
You may be sleeping, but there’s still a lot going on in your body. It’s a time for repairs to take place. Not only do you feel sleepy if you don’t get adequate sleep, you’ll also put additional stress on your body. You might be able to make it through the day with loads of extra caffeine, but that adds to the stress. You probably won’t feel like working out or if you do, won’t be nearly as effective at burning off the hormones of stress. Stress makes changes to your body that are linked to inflammation. Inflammation is thought to be the cause of serious conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
If weight loss is eluding you, maybe you don’t get enough sleep.
While stress boosts cortisol levels that can pack on weight around the middle, lack of sleep does something else to sabotage your weight loss efforts. It affects your hunger and satiety hormones, leptin and gherlin, and not in a good way. It boosts the hormone that makes you feel hungry and reduces the amount of hormone that makes you feel full. It also increases your desire for sugary treats as an energy booster. That spikes your blood sugar, but what goes up, must come down, leaving you exhausted and starved for more.
Your body isn’t all that suffers.
Just like your body, your brain is busy while you sleep. It’s processing and organizing everything that occurred throughout the day. Those memories are organized with neural pathways created to link your memories to feelings, associations and sensory input like smells and sounds. It helps you maintain a good memory. Lack of sleep causes memory lapses.
- Some people don’t require as much sleep and can do well on as little as six hours a night. Those people are definitely not the average. Most adults require between 7 and 9 hours. A few at the opposite end of the spectrum only feel refreshed with ten hours of sleep.
- It’s important to sleep in a dark room away from electronic devices. Falling asleep in front of the television might provide some rest, but it’s not quality. You need it completely dark to get the best sleep.
- If you can’t sleep well at night or find you wake up too early, consider learning how to power nap. It helps make up deficits and boosts your energy levels.
- Getting more too much sleep can indicate an illness. If you find you’re exhausted and are getting over nine hours a night, see your doctor. It can also be a sign that you have mild depression. Working out can help with that.