If there was a slight chance that I could keep my body ticking on lack of sleep, maybe one hours sleep an evening, I would take it… but what and who would suffer in my life?
Spending years coaching people in better health and trimmer waistlines led me to understand just HOW important sleep glorious sleep is! Lack of sleep is a health risk to be taken seriously – if you said that to me at University, I would have laughed! Some people function optimally with as little as 5 hours of sleep and some swear they need at least 9 hours to be coherent at a days work. Like our fingerprint, each person has their magic time frame of optimal sleep, but sleep we must, and preferably enough.
There are some interesting and quirky reasons for good sleep and one which tickled me pink due to my overactive imagination was; when else could the brain elves do their e-filing, sifting and sorting, deleting, processing, archiving while simultaneously making dream suggestions to avoid being micromanaged by your consciousness? Can you imagine if besides EVERYTHING ELSE we do daily, we still had to micromanage this administrative nightmare!??
Let us take a look at the BIG 5 reasons (based on the fact that this is a health blog, and I believe that sleep is as important as the amount of water we drink every day, it will be a subjective top 5) WHY sleep is a MUST DO on our list of living and how lack of sleep just ain’t cool.
THE BIG 5
DUMB AND DUMBER
Yup, you heard right, as I was pulling through nights at University to gain intelligence, little did I realize I was significantly affecting my cognitive processes, my ability to be attentive, alert, concentrate, reason, and problem-solve. Little did I know, I just needed to sleep more! There is a reason for EVERYTHING in our body, including sleep cycles, one of those reasons is the consolidation of memory and without sleep, memories disappear… now, this may not be important at Uni but when we start reaching 60 or 70 years of age, and the word Alzheimer’s keeps popping up in conversation with your children, then you may start realizing the importance of memory consolidation – and sleep.
YOUR CELLS AIN’T HEALING BUDDY
Let’s take on the obvious.
YOUR SKIN GOES TO POT
Lack of sleep has an impact on your hormones. And this has what to do with your skin? Well, limited sleep = body under greater stress and therefore = cortisol, our stress hormone is released in a copious amount which then = a break down of your skin collagen – yup, the protein that they are trying to mass sell to all who are willing to buy it, to improve skin texture and elasticity. JUST GO TO SLEEP! IT IS HEALTHIER & CHEAPER. It is after all, as shared in point 2 above the only time your body has time to do tissue repair! The dark circles under your eyes are not just from the physical LACK OF SLEEP but also from the LACK OF REPAIR.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY!
Sadly so. Now let’s blame the boss, with your increased stress levels you arrive home, having had little to no sleep based on a deadline that needed meeting the previous day, frolicking with your partner is possibly the last thing on your mind. At that point, you have zero energy and increased tension, both of which do not count in your partners’ favor. As mentioned earlier in this blog, lack of sleep has its impact on your hormones, studies suggest that testosterone is one hormone that IS impacted by too little sleep. I find that generally speaking too little sleep is also stress-induced so between low testosterone and stress being high, a romantic evening with benefits will not be on the cards.
WE GET FAT! and WITH THAT SAD…
The last and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT one of the big 5 if you have a desire to live a long, happy, healthy and vibrant life. Lack of sleep in my experience has a massive impact on weight. (And
When someone mentions that they are using sleeping tablets, (please don’t, there are other ways which in which you can get your beauty sleep without numbing your energy) the first thing I do is check their waistline as surely the ONE AND ONLY reason for poisoning their vibe MUST BE to reduce their waistline, possibly they have tried every diet on the market and this is the last resort…
Studies have been done to reflect the fact that lack of sleep and resultant obesity are friends. Not enough sleep, (more time to eat – just saying) leads to an increase in hunger – more likely HANGER – why hanger, well firstly, there is this little peptide called ghrelin, (sounds like gremlin right!!?) that demands food from you like a teenage son. The minute you don’t sleep enough, ghrelin comes knocking. Get enough sleep and the peptides leptin hang around, which is in your favor, this little one signals satiety to your brain – what a beaut if you are into reducing your waistline. The second reason for Hanger… no sleep = you have more chance of craving and demanding the super-sized, bad fat, bad sugar, generally widely accepted (and ordered) bad food at
There is sound science to back how lack of sleep impairs how our very own fat cells interact with insulin… problems in this department lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and diabetes just 2 of them.
Get on to the ‘Sleep-Diet’, it works! I can say, there are scores of times I would sit with a client, who thinks sleep is irrelevant in comparison to exercise and nutrition… TRUST ME… it ranks right up there (with oxygen and water) as RELEVANT in fat loss!
Sit quietly and assess when last you had a good nights sleep. One where you felt like a warrior when you woke up. Chances are, that was a long time ago. Then assess what health concerns you have, maybe you are on chronic medication, possibly you are short-tempered, or on the depressive side of life, or maybe it is just the early sign of wrinkles that has your earth tilting off its axis at the moment. No matter what you are facing, start with the basics and get that right FIRST. Get a good nights sleep tonight, and every night after that to live a vibrant life that I am sure you deserve.