World Sleep Day…..but how important is sleep?
Sleep and the Effects on your Health
We spend a third of our lives doing it.
We have to sleep because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. In other words, sleep plays a significant role in brain development.
Lack of sleep has serious effects on our brain’s ability to function. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you’ll be familiar with the following after-effects: grumpiness, grogginess, irritability and forgetfulness. After just one night without sleep, concentration becomes more difficult and attention span shortens considerably.
With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine). This is the legal drink driving limit in the UK….WOW!!! (BBC Health)
Its a well known fact that now-a-days we just don’t seem to get enough sleep.
All I ever seem to hear is “im soo tired” and “ I got no sleep last night” and the amount of peoples status’s on facebook say it all! Everyone seems to be TIRED……needless to say MOST people will of probably have spent half the night on bloody facebook doing F all!!
Lack of sleep can seriously stop any weight loss and not only that it can have an overall effect on you Health and Wellbeing. You end up surviving on “Caffeine” and other stimulants, believing that they will truly work.
Most of the time you will wake up feeling rough as toast and wishing that bloody alarm hadn’t gone off….and guess what this then puts you in a BAD MOOD for the rest of your day….or well at least until u get your caffeine fix!
Sleep is FABULOUS….I think its the best invention ever…god bless u Sleep Creator! Sleep helps the body to recover, rest and repair. Also during sleep, the Growth Hormone increase, this is a hormone that is essential for Fat Loss and Health…….something to think about hey!
There are lots of things that can effect sleep:
- Caffeine – this helps raise cortisol levels, increase any awakenings and also puts you into “Sleep Debt” …..as its keeping you alert.
- Any form of Processed Food(especially if you have it as your “last” meal before bed)…seriously Pizza at 10pm…is a recipe for insomnia. Its full of those dreaded E-Numbers
- LAPTOPS and TV before bed…come on, I know this has hit a nerve how many of us stay up late watching TV or on facebook etc?
- Alcohol! Now I know when you’ve had a few sometimes you can fall asleep straight away, but it will only increase your awakenings through the night , as cortisol levels are raised.
- Some prescription Drugs (although this is a case for the medical profession) esp Anti Depressants
- STRESS (see related article)
So what can you do to combat this –its Simples (in my best meerkat voice):
- DONT watch the TV or be on the LAPTOP before bed….you need to unwind in bed. Turn it all off 1 hr before bed
- Take Magnesium – a lot of women are actually deficient in Magnesium (see related article)
- Just bin the caffeine and stimulant related stuff….seriously coffee before bed?? (adenosine is one of the chemicals thought to accumulate during wakefulness, and caffeine inhibits the actions of this, therefore keeping you awake!)
- Read before bed, but make sure its NOT something work/study related. Try something easy and simple….a book that doesn’t require the use of your brain
- TULSI TEA!! Mmmmmm
- Look at your Bedroom environment (lighting, TV, comfort)
- Get a “pre-sleep routine” avoid any stressful activities before be, as this causes the body to release cortisol, which will increase alertness. Do you take problems to bed with you? (an no I don’t mean your partner) the write them down and deal with them tomorrow.
- Look at your last meal…was it clean? Or was it full of processed sh*t and sugar?