By Shannon Flanagan
Have you been slacking in the sleep department? Are you wondering why you are not losing weight or why you have been feeling run down and lacking energy? Sleep can have a direct effect on why you are struggling. Getting some good shut eye plays an invaluable role in improving your overall health. Here are the top 10 reasons why sleep is important.
1) Not enough sleep can slow down your metabolism. Some studies have
shown that losing sleep could affect metabolism by making you feel
hungry, even if you’re not. Sleep deprivation may affect the
secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulate appetite.
Studies show that insufficient sleep appears to tip hunger hormones
out of whack. Leptin, which suppresses appetite, is lowered; ghrelin,
which stimulates appetite, gets a boost.
2) You’re more likely to make bad food choices when faced with a lack of sleep. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people with obstructive sleep apnea or other severely disordered breathing while
asleep ate a more calories high in fat and sugar. Women were highly
3) Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance, its precursor, may become
more likely. A study published found that people getting five or fewer
hours of sleep each night were 2.5 times more likely to be diabetic,
those getting six hours or fewer were 1.7 times more likely.
4) Your heart is also put at a high risk. Another study found that
heart attacks were 45 percent more likely in women who slept five or
fewer hours per night than in those who got more. Too little sleep
promotes calcium buildup in the heart arteries, leading to the plaques
that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
5) Blood pressure may also increase. Obstructive sleep apnea, for
example, has been associated with chronically elevated daytime blood
pressure, and the more severe the disorder, the more significant the
hypertension, suggests the 2006 IOM report. Obesity plays a role in
both disorders, so losing weight can ease associated health risks.
6) Auto accidents rise. Sleepiness affects professional drivers,
too. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2012 Sleep in America poll found
that 20 percent of airline pilots admit they’ve made a serious error
due to lack of sleep, compared with 18 percent of train operators and
14 percent of truck drivers. Lack of sleep will cause dizziness and can increase the risk in accidents.
7) You may be more likely to develop a case of depression. Adults who
chronically operate on little sleep report more mental distress,
depression, and alcohol use. Adolescents suffer too: One survey of
high school students found similarly high rates of these issues and
reported more symptoms of depression and lower self-esteem.
8) You will become lazy. When you do not get enough sleep your body
goes in to a state of stress and will hold on to the weight. Lack of sleep will decrease your energy levels, causing you not to work out when you normally would or not be as active in general.
9) Your smarts may suffer. Sleep promotes learning – it helps the brain
receive new information to memory, and researchers have found that
people who sleep after learning a task do better on later tests. A
study showed getting less than six to eight hours of sleep a night
could age your brain by four to seven years—increasing the speed of
cognitive decline, and worsening vocabulary and reasoning abilities.
10) You will look older. I love when I do not get enough sleep and
people say, “You look really tired”. What they are really saying is,
“Man, what happened to you? You look like crap.” People are
perceived as being less attractive and unhealthier when they’re
sleep-deprived than when they’re well rested. If you want to look
your best, get your beauty sleep.
Now go get some shut eye! Finally, 10 good excuses to get some rest.
Photo from Constant Contact.