If you’ve spent long hours during the week, thinking you’ll catch up on the weekend, you are on the road to failure. The truth is, you really can’t catch up on sleep in two days. The importance of consistent sleep schedule should make it one of your top priorities. You probably already work out and maintain a healthy diet, but fail when it comes to getting adequate sleep. That can take its toll on your health. Not everyone needs eight hours of sleep, some need more, while others can function on as little as six, but if you’re tired during the day, you’re either getting poor quality sleep or not enough.
Losing weight is easier if you’re getting enough sleep.
When you don’t get enough sleep, it puts the body in stress mode. You’ve probably felt that fight inside to stay awake. Those stress hormones include cortisone, which is linked to abdominal fat. It also can cause other hormonal problems, such as creating too much of the hormone that makes you feel hungry and the too little of the one that makes you feel full. Lack of sleep can also make you crave instant energy and that means sugar. Where there’s a super spike in sugar levels, there’s a super dip. If you succumb to the urge to eat sugar it can set of the roller coaster effect that increases calories as you try to get more energy.
Sleep allows your brain to work on organization.
During the day, your brain is busy with the many sights, sounds and thoughts of the day. At night it’s cleaning time for your brain and time to organize. The brain needs to create neural pathways for memory that link the thoughts with feelings, associations and sensory input. If you don’t get enough sleep that doesn’t happen and your memory suffers.
Just like the brain, the body needs sleep to heal and renew.
Sleep does more than just make you feel better. It’s the time for the body to heal. Not only do the stress hormones created from lack of sleep affect your weight, they damage the body, too. Stress hormones are also linked to inflammation, which is damaging for the body. It’s linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s. You’ll stay healthier and heal faster when you get adequate sleep.
- When you get too little sleep, you’ll look older. It slows the process of cell rejuvenation and allows more cell damage. That’s linked to aging.
- Be aware that while getting too little sleep is bad, so is getting too much. It may indicate an illness or depression. Keeping a regular schedule can help avoid this.
- Some people find a quick nap during the day can help give them an energy boost, while also offsetting a deficit during the night. Those power naps you hear about are real.
- Make sure your sleep area is conducive to restful sleep. Keep it dark and free from electronic devices. If you absolutely need the TV on to fall asleep, get a timer to shut it off.