By Coach Meredith
Hello and Happy New Year!
With the new year, comes new resolutions. Let’s set new standards for ourselves for optimal health and wellness. First and foremost, let’s make rest a priority. Depriving our bodies of sleep is depriving it of recovery and growth that can aid in warding off illness, signs of aging, and obesity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of Americans aren’t getting regular sleep. Without regular sleep patterns, our bodies find it hard to function and we begin to slack in other areas of our lives including our overall health. One study has found that insufficient sleep can cause change to more than 700 genes in our bodies. Here are some vital organs inadequate sleep will affect:
Monotonous tasks such as driving have an increased risk because our focus is lessened and we can be easily distracted. Our hand-eye coordination is also affected. When this all adds up it can be dangerous not only for ourselves, but for everyone else traveling around us as well.
Leptin naturally rises during the day and peaks at night, but researchers have found that that doesn’t seem happen if you stay awake. There is an 18% decrease in levels of leptin and a 28% increase in levels of ghrelin when we stay awake longer than we should.
Another explanation for our sleep-deprived hunger, may be related to changes in our brain. We tend to make decisions that we would not have made if we were well-rested. You wouldn’t normally eat a Big Mac, large fry, and a Coke for dinner, but at midnight or 1 a.m., it looks awesome, is fast, easy, and sounds like a good idea. Right?… Wrong!
Sleep is the time when our cells regenerate, so when your sleep is disturbed this important process is thrown off. Our blood vessels are most affected because they are constantly being regenerated. Over time this may lead to stiffness in your arteries and less efficient healing, which impacts our heart health.
So let’s start the new year off right with proper rest habits in order to have our happiest, healthiest year yet!
Have a restful week all!