The 5 most important things you should know about sleep

One thing we all could use a lot more of is sleep. Life seems like an endless cycle of never getting enough sleep.

But how much sleep is actually enough? What are the benefits we get out of sleeping soundly through the night, every night?

Here are the 5 important things you should know about sleep and how it relates to your health.

5) Increased Appetite
People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have bigger appetites. When you do not get enough sleep, your body cannot produce enough leptin.

Leptin is an appetite regulating hormone. When your leptin levels are low, it promotes an increase in appetite. This leads to more frequent eating throughout the day in larger amounts.

4) Recovery
Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise. Your body needs a down period for the nutrients and minerals to take effect in your body. The muscles you stretch and build during your workout need time to recover and recuperate from the strain.

When you exercise, your muscles actually tear and stretch. The nutirional food you put into your body after your workout are responsible for filling in the gaps created during your rest periods such as sleep. This is how muscles grow. Rest up!

3) Falling Asleep Easier
In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep. The reason for this is because your body is able to exert the potential energy it has stored from last night’s sleep, your meals, and sitting all day at work. So, when you lay down for bed, that energy isnt racing through you and firing signals off in your brain. Exhausting yourself physically will also exhaust you mentally, making it easier to shut off your brain at night.

However, exercising sporadically or immediately before going to bed will make falling asleep more difficult.

2) Food Intake
People who don’t get enough sleep statistically choose less healthy meals throughout the day. This is caused by several factors such as being too tired to get up and cook so you resort to fast and easy food, which is typically unhealthy.

Those who do not sleep well or at least try to sleep well, end up eating twice as much fat and more than 300 extra calories the next day, compared with those who sleep for eight hours.

1) Basic Math
Not only does a lack of sleep interfere with hunger signals, but there’s also the problem that less time in bed simply gives you more hours of the day to eat.

If you are up for 15-18 hours a day, you’re far more likely to tack on another meal throughout the day so you don’t feel hungry. Those are added calories, carbs, and it sits there as you sleep!

If you want to maintain a healthy eBMI, start by getting into a regular pattern. Here are some notes on how to keep a solid sleep schedule and stay healthy:

  1.  Go to sleep and wake up at the same time.
  2.  Get in enough hours each night.
  3.  Sleep Time Recommendations from The National Sleep Foundation:
      •  Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours
      •  Adults (26-64): Sleep range is 7-9 hours

      •  Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours

       

Stay Koko Fit!

Nick Konarski
COO & Master FitCoach, Koko FitClub

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