Remember those days in elementary school when we had a nap time??? Most of us hated it! Now most of us would probably give anything for a daily nap time.

“ I will sleep when I am dead”, that is something we hear more and more of now in our go go society. We have to work harder, achieve more than the last generation, push ourselves past our limits, have more and more money in the bank. Working hard and doing good is definitely something to be proud of, but if it is at a cost to our bodies and health….. Is it really worth it? Is all that money in the bank really worth it if we are too sick later in life to enjoy it??

That is where sleep comes into play. Most of working for these things and at extremes come at a cost of our sleep schedules, or lack thereof rather. Sleep is so vital to our health. It is when our body repairs muscles, resets and balances hormones, and resets and balances mental clarity. We have talked about the importance of keeping stress out of our body and how it affects hormones and weight loss due to the inflammation it creates. Lack of sleep works on stressing the body in the same way. Cortisol (stress hormone) is reset and dips and then is supposed to rise in the morning, if we do not let our body rest to where it can dip down, it will cause excess stress and throw us out of whack.

Lack of sleep and weight loss –

If we are trying to lose weight lack of sleep can really impair our bodies ability to do so. It affects our two hunger hormones gherlin and leptin . Gherlin is what signals hunger to the brain and leptin decreases it and signals fullness. When we do not get adequate rest it can cause our gherlin levels to rise and leptin to decrease. Cortisol being elevated can also signal hunger as well. This can cause us to eat more, and in turn prevent us from losing weight or sticking to what we know we should nutrition wise.

It inhibits muscle repair. Sleep is just as important to working out when it comes to gaining lean muscle and burning fat. It is the time when our muscles are repaired (when protein synthesis occurs). It slows down the production of our growth hormones to help the lean muscle grow.

It causes insulin resistance. We want insulin to do its job. Lack of sleep affects hormones, which affect insulin levels (by the way think of insulin as your major storage hormone), when it doesnt work right it isn’t removing fatty cells and lipids from the blood as it should. This leads fat cells pumping out more insulin and then leading these fat cells to getting stored everywhere we do not want them.

It increases inflammatory markers in our immune system. We have talked previously about inflammation and weight loss. You can read on that here. Increased inflammation inhibits metabolism and immune function over time.

Bottom line – lack of sleep causes a stress on our body. Stress increases inflammation. Different types of inflammation can affect hormones and fat and metabolic function which leads to…… weight gain, and lack of weight loss. Most healthy adults need to aim for 7 or more hours a night. If you are someone that struggles with falling and staying asleep download this sleep checklist I have made for you to help you prepare and get a better nights rest. Just click the link below 🙂

Sleep Better!!