Have you said “so long” to sleep?
Do you find yourself exhausted and running on fumes throughout the day?
Does your day begin with a cup of coffee and then as 3 pm hits, you need another pick me up?
If, so I have a treat for you! Read on for some tips and a fantastic recipe.
Sleep is a necessary body function which is often taken for granted. It is more than just waking up feeling rested. The research on sleep is growing, and we are just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and the factors that can impact it.
Lack of sleep can influence just about everything in your body… AND mind. Lower levels of sleep can lead to alterations in mood and a higher risk of diabetes, some cancers, hypertension, and heart disease. Low levels of sleep also impact the hormones which control hunger, determine satiety, and regulate blood sugar—and not in a good way. This can contribute to metabolism alternations and weight gain.
Having too little sleep also changes a person’s ability to learn and think. Alertness is also affected, which results in small lapses, which are believed to be microsleeps of only a few seconds. Have you ever been so tired you spaced out, and something had to “snap” you back into the present? If so, you were probably experiencing a microsleep. In fact, a study has shown that 17-19 hours without sleep resulted in alterations in performance similar to those with having a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent or more. To put this level in perspective, most states set their DUI levels at 0.08 percent.
Memories made are consolidated when we sleep. If you aren’t sleeping or sleeping well, your memory is also impacted. So, if you are cramming for a final or some big presentation, pulling an all-nighter is probably not helping you!
Your immune system also needs sleep to operate well. Sleep enables your immune system to concentrate itself to address the next threat to your body. Without it, this immune fighter system is compromised, and it can lead to other issues in the body, including increased inflammation.
And if you still think you can get by without sleep since you are eating well and exercising, you may want to think again. You should probably know that a lack of sleep may also negate those health benefits of your exercise program.
Say what??? What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Depending on your age, your sleep needs change. While infants need up to 17 hours a day, growing kids may require up to 15 hours a day. Even teenagers need up to 10 hours a day, and adults need 7-9 hours a night.
Think about it, are you getting enough?
If not, don’t worry, I have you covered! Take a look at the tips below.
Recipe (Caffeine-free latte for your afternoon “coffee break”): Caffeine-Free Chai Latte
Tip: You can try this with other nut or seed butters to see which flavor combination you like the best. Cashew butter anyone?
Williamson, A., & Feyer, A., (2000). Moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(10), 649–655. https://doi.org/10.1136/oem.57.10.649