Sleep is necessary for physical and emotional wellness
Without adequate sleep your attention and memory are decreased, you are more emotional and your appetite and stress levels are increased which lead to weight gain.
Hormones, their role, and how they are affected by a lack of sleep.
Corticotrophin-Releasing Hormone – Releases cortisol in response to stress.
The first effect of not sleeping enough is an increase in evening levels of cortisol. With adequate sleep cortisol levels begin to decline in the evening. In people who are sleep deprived cortisol levels are up to six time slower at declining. Higher levels of cortisol lead to a lower metabolism and insulin resistance which is a risk factor for diabetes and obesity.
Ghrelin – Hunger stimulant as well as aiding in the secretion of the growth hormone.
Sleeping and feeding are intricately related. Mammals subjected to total sleep deprivation for prolonged periods of time greatly increase their food intake. Levels of ghrelin, were measured after 2 days of sleep being restricted to four hours in humans. Sleep restriction was associated with elevations in ghrelin and increased hunger.
Growth Hormone – Helps to stimulate growth, testosterone and the reproduction of cells. It helps to maintain muscle mass, thick skin and strong bones.
Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little growth hormone which, lowers testosterone which can effect sex drive, and inhibits muscle growth which is essential for a healthy metabolism. Growth hormone also keeps skin looking young and our bones strong.
Insulin – Responsible for several anabolic effects, primarily glucose intake.
The body’s reaction to sleep loss can resemble insulin resistance. Insulin helps the body to use glucose (sugar) for energy. In insulin resistance, cells fail to use insulin efficiently, resulting in high blood sugar which may lead to diabetes.
Leptin – Released by the fat cells and signals fullness to the brain which suppresses appetite. Leptin slows down the appetite and speeds up metabolism.
Current research found that in humans, after 6 days of sleeping only 4 hours a night blood levels of leptin were clearly decreased, thus increasing appetite, particularly increasing cravings for carbohydrates.
Reference: Cauter, Knutson, Leproult, Spiegel; The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Hormones and Metabolism, Medscape, May 24, 2017
- Avoid long naps during the day, 20-30 minutes is enough to aid with being more alert
- Get adequate sunlight during the day, but avoid too much light in the evening hours
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and heavy, rich foods before bed time.
- Your bedroom should be for sleeping. Avoid electronics at night both the mental activity and light exposure promote wakefulness.
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Exercise promotes increased sleep, just 10-20 minutes of exercise daily have been shown to aid with better sleep.
Are you sleeping for 7 hours are more and waking and not feeling rested?
Are you falling sleep during the day? Do you snore?
Have you ever been told you stop breathing for few seconds in your sleep?
Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or partner might be the first to notice signs of sleep apnea
Others signs and symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Morning headaches
- Memory or learning problems and not being able to concentrate
- Feeling irritable, depressed, or having mood swings or personality changes
- Waking up frequently to urinate
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up
In children, sleep apnea can cause hyperactivity, poor school performance, and angry or defiant behavior. Children who have sleep apnea also may breathe through their mouths instead of their noses during the day.
For information about sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and insomnia : https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems