Thursday, December 18, 2014

Catching your ZZZZ's might be better than getting up early !!

Catching your ZZZZ's is more important than you might think !!!

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Making sure that you are getting enough sleep is important to your health. So just before you choose to skimp on your sleep, I might give you some extra reasons to hit the snooze !

Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation.

Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Lack of sleep can have major effects on how you react to stressful situations. Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. Lack of quality sleep may cause you to make more mistakes such as traffic errors, inability to concentrate at work, and driving errors. Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. When you have too little sleep, it can leave you too tired to do the things you like to do. Sleep is important in muscle growth and recovery. Lack of sleep can hinder your results.

Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. Your body has hormones that follow sleep patterns. When your sleep is compromised so are your hormones and the rate at which they are produced. The largest hormone affected are your cortisol levels which is the stress hormone.

So what is the magical number of hours of sleep that we need per night ? Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.

It's important to pay attention to your own individual needs by assessing how you feel on different amounts of sleep. Ask yourself these questions:
Are you productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep?

Do you have health issues such as being overweight?

Are you at risk for any disease?

Are you experiencing sleep problems?

Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?

Just like your body has a set point for metabolism and how many calories we should consume based on activity levels, our sleep patterns are affected in the same way! A person’s basal sleep need – the amount of sleep our bodies need on a regular basis for optimal performance – and sleep debt , the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.

Short sleep duration is linked with:
-Increased risk of drowsy driving
-Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
-Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
-Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
-Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information

To get better sleep, follow some of these tips:

-Create a sleep schedule and stick to it EVERY DAY !
-Make a habit of creating routine in your sleep schedule like taking a warm bath or reading a book.
-Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Turn off computers, phones and tv's at lease 30 minutes before bedtime!
-Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
-Exercise regularly
-Avoid stimulants before bed like caffeine

Make sleep a priority just like eating healthy each day! Don't skimp on sleep to get more done. You will only set yourself back for tomorrow ! Don't forget that you have tomorrow to get whatever you didn't get done today!!


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