Walking around sleep deprived could also be causing you a bunch of other dangerous, long-term health problems, as well as making you age more quickly. YIKES!
I get it, I really do. Life can be crazy. Our days can be full of commitments to work, family and our partner, making a good night’s sleep something that we might just get to have sometimes if we are lucky.
- Dangerous Sleep Deprivation
Many of us are actually walking around completely sleep deprived, even if we don’t know it. Broken sleep, inconsistent sleep patterns, anxiety and stress, a disruptive sleeping environment and too much stimulation from the TV and computer right before bed time can all lead to us having bad quality sleep that is causing more harm than you may realize.
The reality is that it doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is, and how much exercise you do each day, if you are getting less than 7 hours sleep a night on a regular basis, then you are doing long-term harm to your body.
7-9 hours of good quality sleep is imperative for your body’s muscles and tissues to have enough time to heal and rebuild, for your body to restore itself, and for the emotional processing to take place that is needed for your mind to recalibrate.
Without the chance to do this rejuvenating process each night, you will never have optimal health.
- Problem with Being Tired but Wired
Worst of all is that it is impossible to lose weight when you are sleep deprived, and you are also putting yourself at risk of obesity.
How does this happen? Well, let’s think about a time you have woken up to your alarm after only 5 hours or less sleep that night. You are mentally and physically exhausted before your day even begins, but you know you have to get through it.
Your body is craving energy to keep you alert, and this usually manifests as a sugar, caffeine or carbohydrate craving, because your body knows these foods will give you the needed energy burst.
So you end up gulping a huge coffee and snacking on sugar that gives you an instant burst of energy. But then, about an hour later, after your blood sugar levels have dropped again, you feel awful and crash.
And so the vicious cycle continues until you finally get through the day, having eaten way more calories from junky food than what is necessary and feeling awful inside. What is worse is that you are so alert and over-stimulated from all the caffeine that you drank that day that you have insomnia or end up having a really awful quality sleep. Essentially, you are tired, but wired. Eeps!
- Messing with Your Hormones
To top it all off, your hormones are now also out of whack. Because it is only through good quality sleep that you can have balanced hormones. All it takes is one night of bad sleep to make you less insulin sensitive and for your cortisol and adrenalin levels to be higher than they should be.
Lack of sleep is particularly bad for your stress hormones which go haywire, and this causes you to have an increased appetite, and also causes your body to store fat more intensely, usually around the stomach area.
Messing with these hormones will also make it more difficult to burn off the fat being stored in your body. On top of all that, your adrenals are becoming fatigued which can have long term side effects when not managed.
If you are exercising you also need to be extra careful to ensure you sleep enough, as your body needs that time to produce the human growth hormone that helps to repair and rebuild your muscles. If these don’t have a chance to restore then you are putting strain on your body that can actually cause you to age more quickly and which can also affect your sex drive. Nobody wants that!
Take note that just one hour of sleep deprivation a night can be enough to impact on your weight loss efforts and can undo any good that comes from exercise you do.
Do yourself a favor and get yourself 7-9 hours of good quality, unbroken, rejuvenating sleep a night, and notice how much easier it is to meet your weight loss goals as well as how much more natural energy you feel as you go through your day.
- I’d love to hear from you! Do you have abnormal sleeping patterns? If so, how does this affect you?