- Posted by Lily Hills
- On January 23, 2017
- 0 Comments
We’ve all heard Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” but many of us have shrugged off his sage and time tested advice, not understanding just how sky-high the stakes are if we are not getting enough shut-eye. Sleep has become a commodity not only as precious as canary yellow diamonds, but just as rare for the majority of us. The average American gets just 6.7 hours of sleep a night, which means some of us walking zombies are throwing the curve way off by getting a paltry five or six hours.
We attempt to maintain some semblance of consciousness throughout our days by downing a few cups of high- octane coffee in the morning and chugging a five-hour energy drink or treating ourselves to Snickers bar in the afternoon just to drag our weary selves to the end of the day.
The bottom line, most of us just don’t make sleep a priority…not because we don’t want to, but rather we find ourselves in patterns, some obligatory and some optional, that are hard to break. And most of us are paying an incredibly high price for this debilitating habit.
Sleep experts say the average adult requires eight hours of sleep per night. Anything less has been proven to impair not just our physical health, but our emotional health as well. It turns out not getting enough sleep can bring along with it king sized problems. Even one hour of sleep deprivation a night over time can be massively influential in terms of your ability to function at a normal level.
There are significant mental and physical price tags that accompany inadequate sleep. On the mental side, your ability to focus and maintain control over your emotions is diminished by exhaustion. Oh, and it’s also worth mentioning to those feeling the holiday blues, that apathy and depression are the bedmates of sleep deficit.
On the physical side, logging less than eight hours can impair the immune system, making you more vulnerable to every disease and disorder, including cancer, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disease, diabetes and obesity.
New research shows irrefutably that if you are not logging enough zzzzzz’s you will more likely to be packing on the lbs.
Here’s how it works…
“Leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of ‘checks and balances’ system to control feelings of hunger and fullness,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Atlanta. “Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.”
So what’s the connection to sleep? “When you don’t get adequate rest, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food.”
If you don’t snooze, you don’t lose.
I know from personal experience that changing my sleeping habits allowed me to reach my healthiest weight, permanently, without dieting, with far greater ease. Plus it put me in a much healthier frame of mind to deal with my emotional appetites and differentiate them from my true physical appetites.
To make it easier to remember to get to bed, set an alarm clock to prompt you start moving towards the bedroom one half hour before your targeted bedtime. And be sure to turn off that sit-com and get your sleep on.
Bottom line: If you want your life to be a “sweet dream” and you want to lose weight, experience more joy and health and have less stress in life, guard your sleep like a castle. Remember, Sleeping Beauty got not only the prince, but the kingdom as well.