Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested? ––Matthew Walker, Author
Why We Sleep
Before you leave thinking I am selling a miracle fat loss pill or shake…….. I promise I’m not. The above statement is describing the benefits of a full night’s sleep.
Don’t believe me? Well, according to Matthew Walker, there are over 17,000 in depth studies that say there are countless advantages to a good night’s rest.
So why is it that, contrary to this overwhelming evidence, and reasons to sleep more, two-thirds of the adult population in developed nations fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of sleep each night?
That’s an open-ended question. There are so many reasons, ranging from lack of education and understanding about sleep to people just not making it a priority in their lives. It’s hard to pin it down to just one reason.
But, before we move on, I want you to understand this key point:
The less you sleep, the shorter your lifespan. It’s time you make sleep a top priority in your life.
Without the presence of water and sleep in our lives, we will die. So important and damning is the evidence of sleep deprivation, Guinness World Records has now banned all sleep deprivation attempts.
Sleep loss affects every single aspect of our lives—from socially and economically, to physically and nutritionally. In today’s world, we seem to like to celebrate the “sleep when you’re dead” philosophy. This couldn’t be any more stupid.
If you’re trying to achieve anything in the sports performance world or fat loss and weight loss, you need to sleep.
Lack of sleep will hinder any physical or performance-based progress you wish to make. In simpler terms, all the hard work you’re doing in the gym can be undone by a lack of sleep. Results will be slow or non–existent, and you’re working harder, not smarter, for the results you’re after.
Sleep is the foundation of everything we do. If it is off just a little, dieting and physical exercise become less effective, thus taking you further away from your goals.
Sleep loss and sleep deprivation impact everything we know!
Diabetes, Weight Gain & Obesity
The less you sleep, the more likely you are to eat. Your body is unable to manage those extra calories effectively, especially the levels of sugar in your blood. Sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night will increase your probability of being overweight, and it significantly increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
A lack of sleep essentially hijacks the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Your body becomes less receptive to the hormone insulin (responsible for absorbing sugar from the bloodstream). If the blood sugar levels cannot be lowered, over time your body will become intolerant to dealing with these high levels, and you could develop type 2 diabetes.
There are huge links between lack of sleep and diabetes that cannot be ignored.
Now, let’s look at just pure weight gain.
The less you sleep, the more likely you are to gain weight. This is proven science.
There are two hormones that control appetite: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin signals a sense of feeling full. When there are high levels of leptin, you don’t feel like eating. Ghrelin, on the other hand, triggers a strong sensation of hunger. The less you sleep, there is less leptin and more ghrelin present in your body.
You are basically muting the voice in your head that says stop eating and increasing the volume on the voice that shouts “Carry on!”
In numerous studies, it has been found that, on average, people consume 300 calories more per day when they are sleep deprived.
This is an extra 70,000 calories per year and up to 15 lbs. of weight gain, each and every year.
Let’s go even further. Sleep loss increases levels of endocannabinoids in the body (similar to the drug marijuana). Like marijuana, they stimulate appetite and increase your desire to snack (think the munchies). Combine this with the impact of leptin and ghrelin, and this all leads to one thing: overeating.
And the more tired we get, the more lethargic we want to become. So all together, it’s not just an issue of overeating. It’s overeating, desiring more processed foods (chocolate, cakes, pizza) and expending less energy. These are the conditions that are optimal for weight and fat gain.
But the great news is that a good night’s sleep can help control this (along with other key factors).
Concluding Thoughts and Something to Remember
I may have bombarded you with a bit of doom and gloom here today, but amongst all this, I want you to remember the importance of what happens when you lose just one hour of sleep.
Every year, approximately 1.5 billion people are forced to reduce their sleep by one hour for daylight savings. Researchers have gathered data that show that just one hour of sleep loss results in a frightening spike in heart attacks the following day. The number of traffic accidents increases the following day, too.
Most people think that losing an hour of sleep for a single night is inconsequential. But the brain is important to the heart as well as attention lapses in the brain.
The opposite is true when the clocks go forward in the latter part of the year. Heart attacks drop, traffic accidents drop.
It’s amazing what one hour of sleep a night can do.
Imagine what it could do for your health if you addressed your sleeping habits?
Sleep must be a high priority for your health and wellbeing. We must think of it as the handbrake that holds everything else back in your life.
Release the handbrake, and your potential will be exponential. Here’s to a good night’s sleep!