Because it's January, many of us think about losing weight. Did you know that one simple thing you can do is to sleep more? That's right. Getting 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep daily will make a huge difference in your weight and your overall health.
While you are sleeping - in the deepest stage of sleep - your body is restoring itself and repairing everything that's broken (provided it has the necessary nutrients to accomplish this task). Sleep deprivation can have devastating effects as seen below:
- Affects mental health: Sleep deprivation has mental, as well as physical, complications. While those with depression are more likely to suffer from insomnia, insomniacs or those suffering from other sleep disorders are also more likely to develop depression.
- Decreases the production of leptin: Leptin is a hormone that signals the sensation of "fullness" after eating. Without enough leptin, a person's appetite increases, causing him to eat more and crave more foods containing carbohydrates.
- Increases cytokines: As part of the immune system, cytokines are that fight disease and infection. As the body's levels of cytokines drop, you become more susceptible to illness and infection.
- Increases insulin resistance: As a lack of sleep makes the body more resistant to insulin, a person is more susceptible to diabetes.
The problem is that today's lifestyle causes many of us to feel stressed all day long. So the cortisol is always on board doing it's job. When we don't give ourselves a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep every day to reverse the effects of so much stress, everything will start to wear out and the excess weight will be almost impossible to lose.
So do yourself a favor and get some sleep. Naps will help during the day too - more on that another day. If you want more information on how to de-stress and get rid of cortisol call me or drop me an email. I'd love to help you have a fantastic 2009.