Are you getting enough sleep?

In this is age of more is better, sleep tends to be the first thing we sacrifice. Its easy to understand why. Many of us have families, careers, school, our gym time, friends and sleep is what time we have left. But if you are having trouble reaching your goals, sleep maybe the answer. Why do we sleep? Well,  why there are many theories and explanations about the technical why's, it can't be denied that our body requires it. Plain and simple, no getting around it, it needs sleep. It is a time to restore the body to homeostasis, or as close to as your body is capable. It is also a time for restoration. Major functions like muscle growth and repair, protein synthesis and even growth hormone release happen while you are asleep. Without sleep, cognitive functions go by the wayside much like and sometimes worse than someone under the influence of alcohol. Blood pressure, hormones, immune system and pain to name a few are all affected by sleep or lack thereof. Sleep and Weight If you are noticing you're gaining weight in all the wrong ways, ask yourself if you are truly honestly getting enough sleep. Make a concerted effort to get at least 6 1/2 hours a night, if not 7. We all differ in our requirements, don't rationalize you can do with less. And if you do rationalize it, then don't be surprised if you start not reaching your goals. Sleep helps regulates the hunger hormone Ghrelin. Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in Ghrelin production. This is why you crave comfort foods and sugary foods. At the same time Leptin, your fat burning hormone, is low with sleep deprivation. A bad combo for most everyone with any kind of fitness goals. Steps for getting more sleep:
  • Create a comfortable, slightly cooler room for sleep
  • Don't eat big meals before bed
  • Try to avoid caffeine in the evening
  • Exercise
  • Create a habit to relax,  whether its a hot shower or yoga
  • And probably the hardest...limit the use of electronics at bedtime
We do everything from taking supplements, killing it at the gym, and eating a strict diet to meet our goals. Why not also make sleep just as important? It is more important to your overall health than almost anything. With a good nights anything is possible! SynthaleanFatLose