Good morning! Our focus this week is going to be the one thing we probably
all wish we got more of – sleep!
Just as a person is most active in their work while awake, one’s
body is the most active to heal while one is sleeping. So why are so many
people now are sleeping 6, 5, or even only 4 hours per night?
Some people are extremely busy with work, family, and other issues that
make getting enough sleep nearly impossible. But many of these individuals
are watching TV, surfing the Internet, or otherwise much passed their
ideal bedtime. People even seem to brag about how little sleep they often
get, as if it’s a something to be admired. It’s almost like
sleeping less is automatically attributed to higher success or productivity.
Sleep and Repair/Growth
During deep sleep one’s body releases growth hormone, which is reduced
during sleep deprivation. Growth hormone is widely used by the body, including
in cell repair and growth, mental clarity, cognitive function, anabolic
muscle growth, and a decrease in body fat. Think about this. Everything
in the world worth doing takes hard work. If you want a beautiful yard,
you have to pull weeds. If you want a clean house, you have to dust and
vacuum. If you want a stable and happy family, you have to spend quality
time together. But sleep might just be the one thing in this broken world
that works the opposite. Sleep is free, it requires no work, but it produces
some of the largest returns that are known to modern science. We can literally
get healthier, see physical gains, and improve…all while doing
nothing. Gotta love that.
Sleep or Weight Gain? Easy Choice.
Throughout the day one’s cortisol levels vary. They should reach
their peak right after awakening in the morning and slowly decrease throughout
the day, getting to their lowest shortly after going to sleep. The later
you go to bed, and the less you sleep, the more your cortisol levels will
increase before bed. This can lead to things such as weight gain and insulin
resistance (a precursor for type II diabetes). Certain studies have even
shown those who sleep less than 5-6 hours per night were twice as likely
to develop diabetes.
Not sleeping enough has also been shown to decrease Leptin levels, which
is an appetite-suppressing hormone. This goes along with an increase in
Ghrelin, which increases one’s appetite.
Adrenal Fatigue and Injury Prevention
A lack of sleep also is a major stress on your adrenal glands. The first
USA Olympic chiropractor, Dr. George Goodheart, linked adrenal stress
to ligament instability. Those who stress their adrenals too much from
such things as caffeine, sugar, or lack of sleep are much more likely
to sprain a ligament than a person with healthy adrenal gland function
when undergoing stressful activity. So, getting enough sleep is key in
helping prevent injuries when working out hard in the gym or outdoors.
Rest Your Head on This
The key point here is to remember that getting 8 hours of sleep per night
is ideal for everyone. Sleep deprivation can affect your hormonal levels
and cognitive function. It also promotes weight gain and pre-disposes
you to health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Lastly,
it will increase your chances of getting hurt when exercising due to adrenal
So go get some sleep and start reaping the benefits!
Weekly Focus Questions
- I did some type of exercise at least 4 days this week. True/False
- I stretched or worked on mobility/stretching at least 3 times this week.
- I researched healthier recipes for 2 of my favorite dishes this week. True/False
- I got my full serving of vegetables at least 4 days this week. True/False
- I drank at least 50 fluid ounces of water at least 5 days this week. True/False
- I slept for at least 6 hours at least 6 days this week. True/False