I struggled with sleep multiple times in my life; including when my dad and then my mom were sick with cancer. Obviously stress and fear played a great role in my insomnia. Whenever I experience a heavy heart or deep loss, sleep seems to be elusive.
Can you relate?
Sleep is a divine right for each and every one of us. No one is more special than anyone else and deserves it more. It takes a keen eye to look at your habits and lifestyle and really observe what could be standing in the way of getting good sleep.
Be honest with yourself and look at what you can change…and start to make changes.
Now, let’s talk about the history of sleep and some hard facts so you understand where you are today and how you rate on good sleep hygiene.
- Between 1910-1960 “normal” average sleep duration was 9 hours.
- Current average is 7 hours.
- 1/3 of the population sleeps 6 hours or less.
- 70% of Americans are sleep deprived.
- Insufficient sleep leads to imbalance between melatonin and growth hormone, leading to stunted growth, repair and slower healing.
- Sleep deficiency leads to:
- Performance loss
- Slow reaction time
- Impaired memory
- Decreased motivation
- Brain uptake of glucose drops as much as 7% with sleep deprivation.
- One sleepless night can induce insulin resistance in healthy people.
Sleep Deprivation Causes
- Impairment in the endocrine, cardiovascular and immune systems
- Glucose tolerance is decreased during sleep debt
- Sleep deprivation disrupts normal pattern of growth hormone surge during the first 3
hours of sleep.
- Fortifies your immune system
- Balances your hormones
- Boosts your metabolism
- Increases your physical energy
- Improves the function of your brain
- Enhances learning, memory and creativity
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Enhances serotonin
- Fat burning reduces cortisol and increases leptin (hormone tells your brain when you are full)
Research shows that just after 24 hours of sleep deprivation there is an overall reduction of 6% in glucose reaching the brain.
You become lethargic and may crave candy, chips, doughnuts and other starchy sugary things when you’re sleep deprived. Your body is trying to compel you to get that glucose back to the brain as soon as possible. Now doesn’t that make sense of your inability to say no at times?
Now let’s talk about Serotonin.
1. Almost 95% of our body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. It is the building block for the sleep hormone melatonin. Serotonin is the hormone that helps you feel good during the day; it’s the happy hormone. These two go hand in hand!
2. Serotonin and the health of your digestion can impact your brain and sleep more powerfully than almost anything.
3. Healthy gut = increased quality of sleep.
The Sleep-Weight Connection
1. Less than 7 to 9 hours of sleep can affect the hormones that impact your appetite.
a. Leptin- The hormone that tells you when you’re full.
b. Ghrelin- The hormone that tells you when you’re hungry.
2. If you are struggling to lose weight and you are exercising and eating foods that are not inflammatory, you may want to look at your sleep habits. You just can’t lose weight without proper sleep hygiene.
Here’s your takeaway:
Take your sleep just as serious as your fitness, your spirituality, your personal hygiene and your diet. Quality of sleep is as important as any of these other facets of health!
Take a peek here at my Good Sleep Hygiene Checklist to see how you rate with your sleep and where you can make some changes to sleep like a queen.
Hundreds of my clients have taken charge of their health and gone from restless nights to sleeping like a queen and so can you!
If you or someone you know is struggling to get sleep, please reach out for help. Sleep deprivation is not sustainable as your body cannot function, heal, repair, or renew without consistent quality sleep. Email me here for help today.
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