In this week’s post, we are sharing 10 impacts of good sleep that will get you to prioritize restoring deep sleep to enhance your health. Our clients and our personal results always improve when we take direct action to get deep sleep. Whether you are a sound sleeper or you find yourself going through the motions during the day, the information below is intended to motivate you to start or continue to make mindful decisions regarding your sleep.
Let’s dive right in!
Sleep and Food
1. Sleep duration directly impacts your hormones that tell you when you are hungry: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin promotes hunger, while leptin signals when you are full. People who have little sleep have increased ghrelin and decreased leptin while people who sleep more have the opposite. Sleepfoundation.org says, “Numerous studies have suggested that restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”
Sleep and Physical Performance
2.Performance output is greater when fully rested and recovered. There is no performance without sleep and there are no results without performance. This means that poor sleep = poor performance = poor results
3. Results are improved with deeper sleep. Deep sleep fosters optimal recovery. Recovery breeds adaptation and adaptation breeds results. When you workout, ideally you apply the appropriate stimulus (your workout program) so that your body needs to recover. (Too little stimulus and your body does not improve, too much stimulus and your body could get injured) Your recovery leads to your body making changes (adaptations) so that it can handle your workout. The changes your body makes to adapt to this workout are your results! Without sleep, however, you will not recover. Without recovery, you can’t take the next step of getting your results.
4. Sleep improves the chances of your body staying injury-free while being physically active. Your reaction time, focus, body control and time to fatigue are all improved with better sleep.
Sleep and Mindset
5. Deep sleep provides you a great opportunity to learn, impacting your mental performance. When you are fully rested, you are:
Can focus and concentrate for longer
Able to think critically
Able to remember details better
Able to learn better
Able to bounce back quicker and adapt to new stressors
6. Motivation is lacking when sleep is lacking. It’s that much more challenging to get ahead in any situation when you are tired, under recovered and lack motivation. Chances are, you are spending most of your time in a reactive state instead of a proactive state when you're tired - always thinking about how you’re going to survive the day on this little sleep.
7. We have worked with hundreds of clients, and many have admitted one of the following statements: “I’m a terrible sleeper”, “I can’t sleep”, “It takes me a long time to fall asleep.” Disordered sleep is undiagnosed and it’s the feeling of sleep leaving you unrefreshed when you wake. In contrast, a sleep disorder is diagnosed by a professional. If you believe you are a terrible sleeper, you will likely accept bad sleep and feel that strategies to improve sleep will not work, making you reluctant to try.
Sleep and Mental Health
8. Sleep has a strong impact on your ability to regulate emotions and your capacity for mental and emotional stress. Lack of sleep can alter your mood significantly. It can cause irritability and anger. “Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” We have heard or said that at some point. In the long term, this can affect your job or relationships. Sleep-deprived people polled by the National Sleep Foundation were also less likely than those who sleep well to exercise, eat healthfully, have sex, and engage in leisure activities because of sleepiness. Chronic sleepiness puts you at greater risk for depression.
Sleep and Immune System
9. Evidence suggests that both short and long-term sleep deprivation can make you sick. Your immune system is there to provide multiple lines of defence against illness to fight off infections, protect against chronic and life-threatening diseases, and heal wounds. During sleep, your body releases certain proteins that are critical to a healthy immune system. Some of these proteins also help you sleep better, too. Sleep deprivation decreases the production of these proteins. “Sleep loss is also related to a higher risk for infection. Restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 days, followed by sleep for 12 hours per night for 7 days, resulted in a greater than 50% decrease in production of antibodies to influenza vaccination, in comparison with subjects who had regular sleep hours.” - CDC
10. Lack of sleep ages your body. When you are sleep deprived, your body releases a stress hormone, cortisol, which increases your blood sugar level to help you get through your day. Constantly elevated cortisol levels can lead to:
Suppressed immune system
Anxiety and/or depression
Increased blood pressure
Muscle loss and poor recovery
Low sex drive
Aging of skin
Now that you understand the importance of good sleep, take a look at our future blog where we’ll dive into strategies to restore positive sleep behaviours.
What is one impact you have personally experienced after poor sleep?
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***If you are concerned you may have a sleep disorder, please seek the advice of your doctor or a sleep professional.***