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The Connection Between Sleep And Overall Health

People often don’t get enough sleep for many reasons. They may work long hours, spend too much time in front of a screen binge-watching, or are out-on-the-town for a long evening. Whatever the reason, lack of sleep can damage health. Poor sleep and lack of quality sleep are just as damaging as sleeping too little. Improving your sleep and sleep habits can improve all areas of health.

How much sleep do you need?

Your body is unique and not like anyone else’s body. Neither is your sleep requirement. Some people can function quite well on 7 hours, with a small minority that needs less. Some need 9 hours and others need somewhere between 9 and 7 hours. A small minority of people need even more sleep. One study compared two groups of women. One group slept only five hours or less, while the other slept 6 ½ hours. Those who lacked sleep had increased inflammation, higher blood pressure, and a higher risk of heart disease. Those who slept longer lived longer.

Lack of sleep can make you fat.

It’s not the lack of sleep that makes you fat, but the increased appetite it brings. When you don’t get adequate sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the one that makes you feel full. You’ll be hungrier, making it more difficult to stick with a healthy diet. Lack of sleep can also increase your hunger for refined carbohydrates, like sugary treats.

If you want to do your best in athletics, get more sleep.

Sleep can help your athletic performance. If you’re working out, you’ll get more benefits since you’ll put more effort into it. Lack of sleep affects more than athletics, it affects your creativity, too. Adequate sleep helps improve both creativity and focus. Deep sleep allows your brain to organize the events of the day and even can help your memory.

  • Sleep allows brain cell regeneration. Sleep occurs in stages, with deep sleep offering the most cell regeneration. It takes a while to get into the deep-sleep mode. The blood supply to the muscles increases, and immunity improves during deep sleep.
  • The body releases HGH—human growth hormone—during deep sleep. HGH is called the fountain of youth hormone that helps repair cells, build muscle mass, and aid weight loss.
  • Lack of sleep can affect your mental health. It can affect decision-making and make it difficult to control emotions. Lack of sleep makes social interaction harder and leads to mood swings, depression, and impulsivity.
  • Lack of sleep can affect how your body uses insulin. It may make cells more insulin resistant and increase blood glucose levels.

For more information, contact us today at Urban Athlete

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