As a busy working mom of two energetic little boys, it’s safe to say sleeping is one of my very favorite thing to do! Loose pjs, hot nighttime tea, Calcium Plus, sometimes Tryptophan, and my memory foam heaven are all just what I need for a great night of deep sleep (that is if my 18 mth stays asleep; we live in a noisy neighborhood). My signs of lack of sleep includes negative change in my mood (irratibility and such), change in my appetite, decrease in energy level, and etc.
Did you know that adequate amount of sleep plays a huge role in maintaining optimal health including healthy body weight? You can eat right and exercise all you want, but if you are not sleeping enough, it’s possible your body will have a harder time burning those stubborn fats (if you have any). Every individual is different, thus the requirement for the amount of sleep needed, varies. “Getting enough sleep refers to the amount of sleep you need to not feel sleepy the next day,” quoted by www.sleepfoundation.org. I know my body, and I need least 8 hours of sleep in order for me to not feel tired the next day and to mentally function at my optimal level. If you want to know how much you need, then test it out. How many hours do you need in order to not feel tired throughout out the next day? To mentally funtion optimally? With no crankiness?
It’s absolutely fascinating what happens during your sleep. For more details on what goes on each hour of your sleep, check out this educational article. As mentioned earlier, what goes on in your body while you sleep is critical for optimal health. Important hormones are released during your sleep for growth and development of your body cells. The production of certain protein by the cells that only happen during sleep are responsible for the formation of building blocks for cells allowing them to repair damages caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, muscle tearing, bad diet, etc. So when working out, be sure your body gets adequate amount of sleep to repair all those muscle cells for leaner muscle mass. The more leaner muscle cells you have, the more fat you’ll burn! It is proven, the more sleep you get, the more fat your body may burn and vice versa.
The hormones, ghrelin and leptin (responsible for the regulation of appetite) are found to not be fully functional when deprived of sleep (that explains why lack of sleep screws up my appetite). Basically, ghrelin tells your body when to eat, and leptin tells your body you’re full or stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, you have more ghrelin and less leptin; so you end up eating more (possibly unhealthy food) with a SLOWER metabolism because you are sleep deprived. That, my friend, is a recipe for unwanted weight gain. Now, I know it’s not always guaranteed to get adequate amount of sleep especially if you are, again, working mom of small children. In this case, I focus on eating protein rich food with fats and plenty of raw produces. By raw produces, I mean eating an apple to get energy instead of going for that caffinated chemical sh%tstorm (soft drinks) or crunching on almonds, carrots, etc. to help you stay awake and full. Always, start your breakfast with protein and fats which is a GREAT brainboost and by doing that, you’ll set your metabolism on cruise control. If you go for grain (muffins, bagel, cereal, toast, etc) for breakfast, you might as well call it day. You will induced a yo-yo of high and low blood sugar and struggle with lack of energy throughout the day. Carbs from grain cause your body to release insulin to get excess sugar out of your blood and be stored away as ‘energy’ which will most likely be stored as fats later. When all the sugar is out of the blood, you crash. What happens when you crash? Please don’t tell me you go for the ‘5 hour’ energy or Monster crap. I’ll cover my ears.
Another reason to get a good night sleep. Hormone serotonin helps you sleep at night while melatonin helps you stay alert during the day. So the less sleep you get, the less serotonin is produce which may increase your chance of depression and irritability. That’s why I sometimes take L-Tryptophan, the same hormone found in turkey, since it’s converted into serotonin which helps me sleep if I am traveling and or in an unusually surrounding. Also, your brain consolidates your daily memory during sleep. Your brain is working to process all the information you may have gained and preserve memory. It’s possible, if sleep deprive, you might struggle with forgetfulness and such. Just think of your sleeptime being your brain’s bootcamp time, seriously!
Alright, I”ll wrap it up here. I hope you find this information useful! Can you see why we really need a good night sleep? So let me ask you something, did you just fall asleep on me? Is my article that boring or are you just not getting enough sleep? 🙂