Are Your Zzzzzzz’s Missing?
When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? You know, the one where you wake up the next morning feeling fresh and energized without the need of a shot of espresso. We all need it. Without a good night’s sleep, we battle with daytime sleepiness that gets in the way of our productivity! We know all too well those sluggish days filled with random acts of clumsiness, crankiness, or mindless mistakes. You can’t concentrate, remember, or work on things the way you’d like.
Let’s face it, most adults are sleeping less and less. A survey by the Better Sleep Council shows that 48% of Americans report being sleep-deprived. Aside from the emotional and mental strain sleep deprivation has on people, what can be said of its affect on our physical health?
Better Sleep, Better Health
Sleep Loss: A Heartbreaker
Poor sleep increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are beginning to observe a link between hypertension and poor sleep quality. In fact, shift work has become a risk factor for hypertension due to its disruption of normal sleep patterns.
Don’t Stress, Sleep!
Poor sleep also triggers the release of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which increases cardiovascular disease risk. High levels of cortisol can break down collagen and age skin quicker.
While stress hormones are on the rise, sleep loss leads to a drop in human growth hormone. This hormone is involved in building muscle mass, strengthening bones, and keeping skin healthy.
Sleep Loss: Another Epidemic
Diabetes and obesity are on the rise. So is sleep loss, though. It turns out better sleep means less weight struggles. Research shows that sleep is strongly linked to weight control and a lower risk of metabolic disorders. Sleep is regulated by circadian rhythms that, when disrupted, can lead to unwanted metabolic and hormonal changes (especially glucose metabolism and insulin levels) that increase risk of diabetes. It also makes it difficult to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
Why is it that sleep loss makes people more prone to obesity? It increases hunger and appetite. Normally, two hormones – ghrelin and leptin – keep our hunger and satiety signals in check. When we don’t sleep like we should, ghrelin and leptin levels are out of whack. This means more of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and less of the “full” hormone (leptin).
Unfortunately, it’s not veggies you’ll be craving. Research patterns show cravings are mainly for high-fat, high-carb, and high-calorie foods.
One study compared eating habits and sleep habits of normal-weight and obese women. In general, obese women were awake more than normal-weight women, their sleep quality was poorer, they spent more time eating during the day, and displayed higher blood pressure than normal-weight women
Sleep Wisdom From EnergyFirst
Make an oath of honesty and ask yourself the following questions: What’s interfering with my sleep? Are my meals before bedtime too large? Is there too much city noise or light bothering me? Are my electronics distracting me? Am I allowing nicotine or alcohol to disrupt my sleeping patterns? Am I exercising too close to bedtime? (The National Sleep Foundation encourages a window of three hours between exercise and bedtime.) Do I have the habit of consuming too much caffeine too close to bedtime?
The Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine urges clients to have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night as part of a healthy lifestyle.
EnergyFirst’s natural Sleep Aid is a natural cure for sleep deprivation. This blend of herbal sleep remedies can help you fall and stay asleep to meet your recommended sleep needs.
Also, fight daytime sleepiness easily with an energizing shake that takes into consideration the mind-body connection. EnergyFirst ProEnergy whey protein shakes help stabilize blood sugar levels that may, otherwise, be disrupted. Stable blood sugar means better concentration, a better mood, and better focus all day long.
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Appetite. 2012 Aug;59(1):9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.03.015. Epub 2012 Mar 23.