So you know you always hear about how you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night but do you really understand why you need that amount of sleep?
I have always been the person that you could function off of 3 and 4 hours of sleep but as I began to older I realized wow I really can’t function off of less sleep I have just used additives to help me be able to function throughout the day.
So why do you really need sleep?
So if you are the type of person who likes to work out or you have just started to begin workout program. Sleep allows the body time to recover. It helps the muscles to recover from the stresses that you have place on them throughout the workout.
Lack of sleep has actually been know to increase weight gain in individuals. So think of it this way, we function off of energy. The amount of energy of metabolism that a person has varies from each person. We burn carbohydrates, fats and proteins and these are used as our energy source. If we have lack of sleep then instead of our bodies releasing the fats for energy it is going to hold onto the fats, hold onto every energy source nutrient in our bodies. Why? Because I body gets into survival mode, its smart, it wants to survive, it wants to protect our bodies. Dr. Michael Breus, PhD explains that recent research strongly indicates that sleep depravation has a direct correlation to weight gain. He states there are two main factors that are the primary reason of weight gain in sleep deprived individuals Hormones: When you are sleep deprived, your cortisol level rises (stress hormone) which increases your appetite, causing your metabolism to slow down, not allowing you to burn as many calories through out the day.Food choice change:The more sleep deprived you are, the more you are likely to reach for cookies and cakes (comfort food). This occurs because your brain is trying to gather food that will help “calm you down”, causing you to consume, unhealthy, high calorie food. (http://my.5linx.com/wellness/lack-of-sleep-can-lead-to-weight-gain/)
Lack of sleep can cause you to not be as alert as you would if you are rested. This alertness causes our bodies to go into sleep mode or pause mode. So we are less likely to engage in a lot of activity if we are tired. In addition, we tend to not perform well with activity if their is a lack of mental alertness. Furthermore, typically people who lack sleep fill the need to gravitate towards coffee to get that alertness. Caffeine has some benefits in increasing alertness and studies have shown that it can help with weight loss in endurance athletes. However, it is also shown that caffeine if consumed regularly can cause you to disrupt your sleep even if you consumed it early in the morning. If your sleep is interrupted then you continue the cycle of lack of sleep and the general effects.
So what is the best thing to do?
Try to average between 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I know it can be hard, it is difficult for me but start small. If you typically only get 4 hours of sleep a night then one week strive for 5 hours of sleep, then the next week work on 6 hours of sleep. Slowly progress in your hours of sleep. In the long run you will feel better which will allow you to perform better.