Since one of the most impactful aspects of our lives is the quality of sleep. Combining it with a healthy diet and daily exercise. Sleeping may in fact, be even more important than diet and exercise. If we do not have a good night sleep, we make poor choices about diet and it is much harder to do exercise efficiently as our body has not rested properly.
The body’s way of obtaining relaxation and healing is sleeping. It affects your mental and physical well-being and is an extremely productive way to help you cope with stress better, to heal from illness and to even solve problems in a more creative way.
Good sleeping patterns can help you keep a healthy weigh. Or, on the contrary, sleep deprivation can lead you to gain weight.
There are many studies that shows the potential benefits of getting a good night’s sleep to help you to lose weight and how sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your health.
Benefits of good night sleep:
- Lower risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease
- Improved concentration and productivity
- Poor sleep increases the likelihood of weight gain
- Lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
- Your athletic performance will increase
- Contributes to a stronger immune system
- Healthier emotional wellbeing
- Improves memory retention
- Less inflammation.
Negative effects of sleep deprivation on your health:
– High blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, cardiac failure, or stroke.
–Obesity, depression, immune deficiency, and reduced sex drive.
-Chronic sleep deprivation can also affect your appearance.
The reason of this is that when the sleep is restricted and the quality of sleep is poor, it may create metabolic disorders, weight gain and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic conditions.
Have you ever felt than when you don’t sleep at night you feel hungrier and eat more during the day? This is because sleep can affect your appetite.
I used to think of appetite as a simply grumbling in the stomach, but appetite is regulated by neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that enable neurons (nerve cells) to communicate with each other. Specifically, the neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin which are thought to be the ones who regulates the appetite.
While ghrelin is the one responsible of making you feel hungry, leptin is the one that makes you feel full and satisfied. Throughout the day, the body gradually rises and decreases the levels of these neurotransmitters, telling the body when there is a need to ingest calories.
Moreover, the lack of sleep can influence on the control and response of these neurotransmitters by the body. For example, when I have ever had a 4 hrs sleep, the next day I have felt very hungry all the time and like never full up or satisfied.
This happens because of the sleep deprivation, and how it affects on the neurotransmitters, causing the levels of ghrelin in blood to increased, and the levels of leptin in blood to decreased.
Furthermore, some studies have also shown that food preferences are influenced by sleep deprivation. People who are sleep-deprived prefer to select foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates.
Do good sleeping patterns increase the metabolism?
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.
Everything we do; from something as essential as breathing to something which requires a mayor energy expense as exercise is regulated by our metabolism.
Is commonly known that exercise can increase our metabolism temporally and if you exercise regularly it helps to increase the metabolism. Making it more efficient.
On the contrary, sleeping has the opposite effect. In fact, metabolism slows down by about 15 percent during sleep, reaching its lowest level by 9am in the morning.
In fact, several studies have shown that sleep deficiency typically contributes to metabolic dysregulation (whether due to self-induction, insomnia, untreated sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders).
Elevated oxidative stress, glucose intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), and insulin resistance are associated with poor sleep. Extra time spent awake can also increase the chances of eating more, and less sleep can interfere with circadian rhythms, contributing to weight gain.
Sleep and physical activity.
If you do exercise regularly, your quality of sleep improves specially if you practise exercise with natural light. You will improve your sleep just by going for a short walk during the day, but if you spend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise a week, you can also boost your concentration and minimize feeling sleepy during the daytime.
What happens while we sleep?
Sleep has 5 stages:
- Stage 0: Awake
- Stages 1 – 2: Light sleep. Is when the body heals and regenerates. Is most of the night.
- Stages 3 – 4: Deep sleep. Helps learning and memory.
- Stage 5: REM sleep; is when we are dreaming. It is important for memory and mood.
If you’re feeling extra refreshed, you definitely got a lot of deep sleep last night!
Best tips to sleep well.
- – Commit to a sleep schedule. Create a routine.
- – Be active. Exercise = better sleep
- – Light exposure
- Do expose yourself to bright sunlight as early as possible in your day. This will help regulate the biological wiring of your sleep and will also help to wake you up more naturally.
- Attempt to be outside as much as possible throughout the day.
- Keep open curtains and let light into your environment during the day.
- If having enough natural light is tricky, use a light therapy set (i.e. during winter, if you live in a country with low average hours of sunlight).
- Don’t take your phone to bed and scroll back and forth.
- In the middle of the night, do not bring the lights on if you need to get up for a bathroom break.
- Do not sleep in a light room – when you sleep, try to eliminate as much light as you can from your sleeping area.
- Do not go to bed immediately after watching TV or electronic work – the light generated from screens suppresses the release of melatonin, as with a cell phone.
4. – Diet;
- Limit stimulants – caffeine stays in the system for up to 12 hours, whilst nicotine can equally provoke your ability to slip into a deep sleep.
- Limit alcohol – alcohol might make you feel sleepy but it stifles your body’s ability to enter the deeper stages of sleep.
- Go easy on the liquids before bed – a full bladder needs emptying sooner…
- If you can’t remove them from your diet altogether, reduce the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates you consume throughout the day.
5. – Meditation.
6. – Optimize your sleep environment.
- Cool (ideally around 18-20 degrees Celsius)
- Well ventilated
- Reserved for sleep and intimacy only
And always remember: It’s not possible to catch up with lost sleep.