How Sleep Affects Your Metabolism

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How much sleep do you get a night?  Do you even know? Does it vary from night to night?  If you are someone who is just starting out on a workout routine or have been working out for years, sleep is as important if not more important than eating the right foods or getting adequate amount of exercise.

Last year, the average amount of sleep was seven and a half hours. Shift workers average less than five hours each night. The reality is the average person needs a minimum of seven hours. Although, studies show the body works best with nine hours of sleep a night.  So do you fall in the seven and a half to nine hours of sleep every night? Let’s take a look at what happens when you sleep and what happens when you do not get enough sleep.

When you sleep, your body releases hormones that help regulate how your body functions which include fighting off illnesses and reduces the amount of protein that is broken down.  If this becomes a regular process with eight to nine hours of sleep it helps your hormones stay regular.  Let’s say you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep every night, what’s the worst that could happen?  I’m glad you asked.

When your body does not receive enough sleep, hormones are increased such as the stress hormone called cortisol. The result is an increased appetite. Because the body lacks sleep, it has a difficult time metabolizing carbohydrates. This leads to high blood sugar levels, which then causes an increase in insulin. The increase in insulin is a signal to the body to store unused energy as fat. People who continue to have sleep deprivation have increased chances of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss. So basically, the body ages faster.

Now getting eight hours of sleep at night sounds hard right?  Here are some ideas to help increase the amount of sleep a night, and the quality of sleep as well:

1. Sleep in a completely dark room.  This will trick the body into getting tired easier.
2. Make sure to have an hour or so of wind down time before bed. This will lower the heart rate which increases likeliness of falling asleep faster.
3. Go to bed around the same night every night.  This will help your body get into a routine sleep schedule.
4. Listening to soothing music helps in the same way as it does with an infant.

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