I am sure you have heard of the sayings “the early bird catches the worm” or “you can sleep when you’re dead.” Well, with our busy, over scheduled modern day lifestyles, many of us seem to wear our lack of sleep like a badge of honour. In our society, working overtime and being chronically busy are all signs of the motivated high achieving folk. With that being said, no wonder so many of us never think of sleep deprivation as a serious problem. It turns out that missing sleep really isn’t getting any of us farther ahead in life. Instead, it’s making us sick, unhappy and even depressed. Cumulative sleep debt is robbing us of mental capacity, preventing us all from performing at our best and it’s the barrier between living life optimally. Not to mention the unpleasant side effects of weight gain and aging at a more rapid rate. Lame….right?
As adults we NEED 7-9 hours of sleep. The benefits of enough good quality sleep include:
– Appetite hormones stabilized
– Reduced inflammation
– Reduced cortisol (our stress hormone). FYI – When our cortisol levels are chronically high (usually due to stress and poor nutrition), our testosterone, which is what we need to build muscle and burn fat, cannot be high at the same time. Hence why it is virtually impossible to lose body fat when we are chronically stressed. Sleep will naturally help to lower our cortisol and promote fat burning in the body.
-Beautifying benefits thanks to melatonin and growth hormone both of which are highest at night
-Repair and regeneration of muscle, skin and bone cells which also mainly occur at night
-Feeling more optimistic, content and vibrant!
The answer is simple, but remarkably underrated in our productivity-obsessed culture: Get more sleep.
With that being said, just saying “get more sleep” is obviously much easier said than done with the overwhelming amount of tasks, expectations and stress we are all under. However, it may be helpful to see if you can eliminate or reduce some things off of your plate. For instance, there are many things we do in life that are unnecessary or not as important as we make them out to be. I, for one, am still learning to not take on so much in life, accept things as they are, and to eliminate what no longer serves. I find this very useful in creating a more healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not to mention lowering your caffeine intake which can make a difference too. Again, I know, not always the most glamour of solutions, but too much caffeine along with chronic stress and a resistance to what is can truly disrupt our ability to sleep and stay sleeping throughout the night.
Finally, daily exercise, even something as little as 30 minutes of walking everyday incorporated with proper nutrition are hugely beneficial to stabilizing your blood sugar levels and reducing cortisol. Both of which contribute to better quality sleep. In the end, all of these things do accumulate and make a big difference to not only to our sleep, but also our weight, mood and ultimately how we feel day to day.
We owe it to ourselves to develop better sleep habits.
Your body and mind will thank you!
PS – If you’re having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep for long periods of time no matter what you do, it could be your hormones. Message me anytime to discuss or check out this link to have your hormones today: GET YOUR HORMONES TESTED TODAY!