Importance of Sleep for Your Body

Sleep is fun, I love it.  I sleep in a lot more than I probably should at times.  With my busy schedule though I don’t always get time to sleep in.  I don’t always get the recommended amount of sleep either.  I probably don’t get it nearly enough.  During college my doctor told me that I should try to get more sleep but they never really explained why.  Now that I have graduated and gotten more interested in health I have a better idea of the importance of sleep for your body.  And boy do I wish I had known it earlier.  Sleep can help with your weight loss efforts and here is how:

As a disclaimer I am not a medical professional, I have done research into this topic and spoke with a new doctor about the importance of sleep.

Importance of Sleep #1: Hunger

Importance of Sleep

The above-seen Jack in The Box meal is very often considered to be geared towards the stoner population.  While the name is definitely a play on that there is science behind the Munchie Meal.  When you lack sleep your body’s hunger trigger gets turned back on and you start to crave food despite the fact you are not actually hungry.  So next time you see that Munchie Meal commercial and its past your bed time, remember the importance of sleep and get to sleep, not Jack in the Box.

Importance of Sleep #2: Fat Storage

When you eat fat your body starts to store some of it and metabolize the rest.  When you lack sleep your body starts to store more fat than normal.  This is done because of the increased blood sugar and production of insulin.  Your body starts to build up additional fat and the time it takes for it to process said fat goes up.

If you eat when you are sleep deprived you will start to notice that you are putting on more weight or not losing any, even if you do exercise.

Importance of Sleep #3: Hormone Control

You know the importance of sleep if you know about your body’s hormones, unfortunately, many of us don’t know as much as we should about our bodies.  I know I don’t know enough, that is one of the reasons I started this blog.  When you lack sleep you are knocking your hormones way off balance.  Two major hormones are affected by lack of sleep: growth hormone and cortisol.

The growth hormone is what allows you to grow and build muscle.  When you lack sleep the growth hormones are not produced as rapidly, meaning it is much harder to build muscle, grow taller, or any of the like.  Even your workouts will have less effect because when you workout you still need the growth hormone to succeed.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone.  The more of it you have in your body the more stressed out you will feel.  When you lack sleep, it builds.  I am no expert but this is probably why you feel better after a good night’s sleep, you don’t have as much cortisol in your system.  Not only does the stress hormone make you more stressed out when you wake up but it affects how you sleep.  You will get less of the resting sleep that you need.

Importance of Sleep #4: Your Brain

Sleep helps your brain, and body, repair itself.  During sleep your brain works to build new pathways and repair old ones.  If you don’t sleep your brain is forced to try and repair and rebuild the brain while you are awake.  It can’t do this so you will start to see the effects that are most commonly related with the importance of sleep, they are also very similar with the effects of alcohol.  You will start to lose coordination, the ability to make decisions, and to think.  You can even start to see things.  This is all because your brain isn’t able to operate properly.

What to Do About It?

Now that you know the importance of sleep what should you do about it?  You need to get sleep is what you need to do.  I need to do it too.

First off, start to think of sleep as a cherished part of your day.  This helps you and your brain to associate it with a pleasure.  This makes it more likely for you to enjoy going to bed.  Mind of matter really does work in this case.  You just have to convince yourself of the importance of sleep and the fun of sleep.

Schedule time for your sleep.  Just like you have a work schedule and a cleaning schedule you should schedule your sleep.  In advance plan out what time you are going to go to sleep every night.  One of my coworkers has been staying up too late playing games and doing other things, he realized that it was hurting his sleep and his performance.  His solution was to start setting an alarm clock for when he has to go to sleep, not just when he needs to wake up.

Lawmakers have been trying to place anti-drowsy driving laws on the books for years.  Study after study has shown that the importance is sleep is so big that it can be considered crucial.  Here is a list of drowsy driving-related laws.

Stop avoiding sleep and get to it.  It will help you with your work, driving, and even your weight loss.  It could be what is hurting your current goals.

A Note About The Delayed Post

The Progress So Far
The Progress So Far

Today’s post was delayed because I was working on packing and had to meet with the maintenance man.  We discovered that our sink had been leaking when we started packing.  Luckily it is a very small leak and it hasn’t damaged anything.  Until we are moved in and unpacked at the end of next week my post may be delayed but I will do my utmost to make sure that I deliver them on time, every day.  At the very least I will make sure that there is a new post every day.