The legendary sleep researcher DR Allan Rechtchaffen once wrote,
'If sleep does not serve an absolutely vital function, then it is the biggest mistake the evolutionary process ever made'
The longest any human has managed to stay awake is a mere 11 days. The fact we spend a third of our entire lives asleep just hints at how critical it is for both our mental and physical well-being.
And sleep is absolutely critical to your hormone health, if you are not sleeping at least 7-9 quality hours per night, you can kiss those awesome moods goodbye.
Your brain and your body recover from the day during sleep, so if you're not getting adequate sleep, you can expect your body to struggle.
I believe that sleep is arguably the most undervalued component of health in today's society. It has come to be regarded as optional, something we can do without !!!
The consequences of not sleeping can be serious and even short-term sleep deprivation causes:
- Increased levels of stress hormone (cortisol)
- Raises blood pressure
- Impairs our body's ability to regulate blood sugar
- Raises our sympathetic nervous system, which can make us feel jumpy and stressed, increases levels of inflammation, and decreases levels of Leptin (our hormone that helps us feel full after eating)
And when we are sleep deprived we actually produce more of a hormone called ghrelin - this is our hunger hormone - so your nighttime cravings are not a signal you need more food it's because you are not asleep when you should be !!
I get asked quite a lot why I go to bed so early (9 pm most nights) and I just feel its an important part of recovery from my day, it's so important to go to bed and gain all the benefits from a good nights sleep so when I wake up the next day I have:
- Increased Energy
- Improved concentration
- Better ability to make healthy food choices
- Better memory
- Increased life expectancy
- Reduced risk of been overweight
- Reduced stress levels
- Reduced risk of chronic disease and Alzheimer's
“A well-rested body is a healthier, more efficient, more capable one”
We are in strange times at the moment everyone is struggling with lockdowns and feeling like every day is a struggle that there is no purpose or reason to go to bed and get up in the morning time but just look at this list of reasons above these are all the reasons we need to keep a sleep routine, it's for our health and well-being!!