Sleep Needs and Weight-Loss
Getting a good night sleep is nothing to take for granted these days. Decreased alertness and reduced creativity are some of the obvious signs of not getting enough sleep but recent research on sleep deprivation suggests that lack of sleep can also lead to more serious health problems.
During normal stages of sleep your body goes through a vital physiological process that is responsible for producing and regulating proper levels of hormones and proteins that play a crucial role in fighting off disease like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Studies done at the University of Pennsylvania for example suggest lack of sleep may put the body in a state of high alert increasing stress hormones in the body that drive up blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. Another study done on obesity at Columbia University suggests that sleep deprivation affects the hormones responsible for regulating appetite.
How can you improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep? You can start by setting limits on the time you devote to activities that will interfere with your sleep. We are increasingly becoming a 24/7 society where a good nights sleep often gives way to the inter-net, emails, late night cable and other demands on our time brought on by modern life. Try making it a habit to get ready for bed before your completely exhausted and turn off all electronics that may stimulate your brain activity. Create a ritual that will send a signal to the body that sleep is coming soon; like putting on your favorite pajama’s or lighting some candles. You will begin to feel your body calming down and the day’s stress melting away. Making it point to try and get the sleep you need to function optimally should become a priority in your quest for better overall health. It might take some time to build and put into place the new habits that will achieve a good nights sleep but the rewards are well worth it.