How important is sleep to you? Many people struggle with sleep or sometimes even neglect it. I think we all know it is important, but do we know the effects of not getting enough? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), “Sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problem, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater risk of death.”
I was listening to a Ted Talk given by brain scientist Matt Walker. He presented a study in which one group of participants stayed up all night and another got a full 8 hours of sleep. In the morning both groups were asked to learn a list of new facts. Their brain activity was analyzed by an MRI. The results showed that the sleep deprived group had a 40 percent deficit in the brain’s ability to make new memories. That has huge implications on learning.
The NHLBI states that “ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Sleep deficiency can also increase the risk of obesity.” The hormones that regulate the feeling of being hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin) are affected by sleep. When there is a sleep deficiency the ghrelin goes up and the leptin goes down which results in an increased hunger sensation. If your goal is to lose weight, then you want to make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Goals for better sleep:
-Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night
-Consistent sleep schedule. Try getting up and going to bed at the same time every day
-Turn off electronic devices 30 minutes before bed
-Establish a relaxing bedtime routine
Make It Happen!