Not Enough Sleep Can Make You Fat!
Reasons Why People Do Not Get Enough Sleep
Anyone who has ever spent a restless night trying unsuccessfully to sleep knows how lousy it feels to have to get up the next morning and go to work tired from having little or no sleep at all.
There are many reasons, both psychological and biological, why a person may not be able to get the sleep they need. Then there are the workaholics who simply over schedule their lives, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes because they have a compulsion to work so long as there is work to do.
When a person has financial problems, children, and more obligations than one person can manage, it can be hard to unwind or relax. While some people have difficulty relaxing, other people are simply not good at balancing work and other activities.
Sufficient Sleep Helps Keep You Smart & Healthy
Signs That a Person Is Not Getting Enough Sleep
It turns out that lack of sleep is often the cause of some of the problems so many people must deal with everyday. After drinking some coffee or having a caffeinated soft drink most people probably think they have their tiredness under control, but they are experiencing a false sense of security.
Here are 6 things you probably never thought were sleep related that can in fact be caused by not getting enough sleep according to the Huffington Post; HuffPost Healthy Living:
* People who do not get enough sleep are often forgetful and have difficulty focusing. Not being alert, inability to concentrate, having difficulty learning, and getting easily confused are among many cognitive issues people suffer when they get too little “dream time.” Not being alert and able to think clearly can cause serious and embarrassing mistakes at work and elsewhere as well as accidents of all kinds. Some researchers have said that being deficient in sleep is as bad as being drunk.
* Being hungry even though you did not skip breakfast and may even have eaten recently can be caused by not enough sleep. Research shows that lack of sufficient sleep causes higher production of the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger.
* You catch a cold and it hits you much harder than the people around you who have the same cold, plus it lingers on and on and you cannot seem to shake it. HuffPost Healthy Living reports that without sufficient sleep you are 3 times more likely to catch a cold or the flu, according to a 2009 study.
* You cry more easily over anything negative. According to HuffPost Healthy Living, a study reported in 2007 found that brains that had not received enough sleep were 60% more likely to react to unpleasant or disturbing images and words -- things one would normally control their emotions over.
* You become a klutz overnight. Clete Kushida, M.D., Ph,D., director of Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research stated in Prevention magazine that people who have gotten insufficient sleep “have slower and less precise motor skills.”
* Last, but not least, a lack of sleep can seriously decrease a person’s sex drive while increasing the hormone cortisol in a person’s system. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. There has been discussion of stress in the media of late that suggests there are different kinds of stress, both good and bad. Here I am referring to bad stress.
Get Enough Sleep & Protect Your Heart's Health
Lack of Sleep Affects Your Health Long Term
Health.Com reports that “the body repairs damaged tissue, produces crucial hormones, and strengthens memories—a process called consolidation, which helps you perform a new skill better after sleeping than you would if you spent an equivalent amount of time awake.” The concept of stabilizing new information and learning new things more easily when you include sufficient sleep is also discussed in my hub, “Biphasic Sleep – Makes You Smarter!” You can access this article in the right hand column of this hub below.
People who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep in 24 and who fail to get enough of the deepest stages of sleep are at 5 times higher risk for stroke and heart attack. That’s worth giving some serious thought.
Regularly getting enough quality sleep does so much to improve your health and keep you healthy that it should be a major point on your list of things that you do for yourself. The things you do to keep yourself healthy not only benefit you, but also the people who love you.
Ann Harding for Health.com also writes, “Sleep is crucial for good health. It helps memory and mood, keeps you trim, strengthens your immune system, fights inflammation, and keeps your heart and blood vessels in tip-top shape.”
‘"When you're sleeping you're regulating hormone levels, you're regulating insulin levels, your blood pressure is being kept under control, there are a lot of things going on, and if you're not getting enough sleep you're throwing these things out of whack,"’ says Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD, director of behavioral sleep medicine at Montefiore Medical Center’s Sleep-Wake Disorders Center in New York City.”
How Much Sleep Do Sleep Experts Recommend?
Seven to nine hours of sleep out of every twenty-four hours is the recommended amount of sleep everyone should get to be healthy and well rested.
Sleep Chart from SleepFoundation.Org
Developing Good Sleep Habits Is Essential
The encouragement of regular sleep is known as ‘sleep hygiene.’ Here is a list of sleep hygiene habits that can help you improve your sleep.
National Sleep Foundation recommendations:
Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, relaxing environment, neither too hot nor too cold.
Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.
Physical activity may help promote sleep, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
It is usually best not to shower just before bed, although some people find a warm bath relaxing.
Suggestions To Help You Get To Sleep
Avoid large meals before bedtime, and especially avoid eating foods that you know will give you heartburn or acid reflux. Very often just the act of overeating, regardless of what food it is, will cause acid reflux. I personally recommend that you not eat during the last 2 hours before bedtime, especially high fat foods. If you frequently suffer from acid reflux or indigestion, you may want to make it 3 hours.
Avoid watching programs that you find upsetting on television within the last 2 hours before bedtime. Also, avoid talking on the phone, reading email, or chatting online with people who tend to upset you
Develop a bedtime routine. It need not be complicated and should not be more than 10 to 20 minutes or so. Research has proven that going through the same motions every time just before sleep time helps the body and mind prepare for sleep.
Sit in your favorite easy chair and read a few verses from a favorite poem, from the Bible, or just look at some pretty nature pictures. Things that will not upset you, but that will give you a sense of calm and security. Brush your teeth, take down your hair, put on your pajamas or whatever you like to sleep in, turn back your bedcovers, fluff your pillow, etc. Simple things that do not have to take a lot of time, but that tell your body and mind that it is again time to relax and put the concerns of the conscious world out of your mind for a while and sleep.
If your hungry at bedtime, Dr. Oz has recommended drizzling some olive oil over a couple of slices of wheat bread and eating that. It should be just enough to rid you of feeling hungry so that you can get to sleep and stay that way.
For more tips on getting a better sleep, access the articles in the reference section below.
More from Au Fait and Friends on Sleep
- Why Can't I Sleep? What Is Normal Sleep? Segmented Sleep Patterns
Your natural circadian rhythm may be waking you up. Exploring segmented, or biphasic sleep, and why some scientists and psychiatrists believe it is the natural sleep pattern for humans.
- Biphasic Sleep -- Makes You Smarter!
Why Biphasic or segmented sleep is better for us, and how it benefits our health and our cognitive abilities.
- Polyphasic Sleep: You Could Add 6 Hours of Awake Time To Your Day!
Polyphasic sleep patterns or schedules, how they work. Steve Pavlina's experience with polyphasic sleep.
More About Sleep and Sleep Patterns
A while back I wrote several articles on sleep referring to how we sleep and how the way we sleep has changed drastically in modern times since the light bulb was invented. For centuries people slept in segments, but since we have been able to light up the night we have been trying to force ourselves to adopt unnatural sleep patterns. I think these unnatural sleep patterns contribute to bad stress and make it even more difficult to get to sleep and to obtain sufficient sleep.
It is possible that trying to force ourselves to sleep in unnatural sleep patterns is the biggest part of the problem when it comes to insomnia or inability to sleep even when we are dead tired. Some people have been able to resolve their sleep problems simply by going to a biphasic sleep pattern. You will find links to my other articles on the subject of sleep in the right hand margins of this article.
If you are a person who has experienced trouble sleeping, please share any solutions that have helped you in the comments section below. What has helped you may help someone else.
More About Things That Can Make You Fat
- Things (Besides Food) That Can Make You Fat -- Being Overweight May Not Be Your Fault!
There are lots of things that cause people to be overweight or obese. Things that are not their fault or easily controlled. Find out what they are and why being fat is not your fault.
- Foods That Help You Sleep
Everybody needs a good long sleep to restart their body and feel rested. Here are some foods that can help you sleep better.
Tips for getting to sleep and sleeping better
Health advantages of a good night’s sleep
CDC Table For How much Sleep a Person Should Get Nightly