What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
A lack of sleep can lead to decreased exercise performance, motivation, focus and contributes to headaches, body aches, joint pain, stiffness and even weight gain. This can be explained by the way lack of sleep affects hormone regulation, as it increases levels of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases the fullness hormone (leptin). Ghrelin signals hunger in the brain and leptin suppresses hunger. Alterations of these hormones from poor sleep negatively impacts hunger levels during the day and results in over-eating by opting for more calorie dense foods high in sugar and fat.
Among the hormonal changes, poor sleep negatively affects the sympathetic nervous system and increases cortisol levels, which is the hormone related to stress. As a result, this can alter gene regulation and impair muscle protein synthesis which decreases muscle growth and recovery.
Non-REM deep sleep is essential for human growth hormone (HGH) production which stimulates tissue regeneration and helps to maintain, build, and repair healthy tissue in the brain and other organs. It also assists with recovery from injury, benefits skin appearance and helps build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat.
So, if you find that you wake up feeling ravenous, irritable and low in energy and are struggling to reach your body composition goals, this might be an indication that you’re not getting enough quality sleep each night!
Long term sleep deprivation is linked to a higher risk of disease and medical conditions including; high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, anxiety and depression.
How much sleep do you need?
Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, day to day stresses, diet, inactivity and the environment in which you sleep can negatively impact your sleep. Therefore, it’s important to implement daily habits that can help ensure you get an adequate amount of quality sleep each night.
Here are our top 5 tips for better sleep:
1. Have a consistent sleep pattern.The circadian rhythm is your body’s natural time-keeping clock that functions most effectively on a consistent set loop. To get your body accustomed to a healthy sleep routine, get into the habit of going to bed and waking up around the same time, even on the weekends. Doing so will make it a lot easier to fall asleep and wake up each day.
2. Pay attention to your diet and exerciseAvoid going to bed hungry or overly full as the discomfort and hormone disruption can keep you awake. Large meals in particular, should be eaten at least two hours before your scheduled bed time to allow your body to properly digest the food. Also, be cautious of how much caffeine you have throughout the day as the stimulant effects can interfere with your natural wake cycle.
It is well established that regular exercise plays an essential role in improving overall health and sleep. However, it should be avoided too close to bedtime as it can affect the epinephrine and adrenaline hormones which increase alertness.
3. Create a restful environmentKeep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark. Eliminate external light and noise to create an ideal sleep environment. In addition, avoid exposure to light-emitting screens just before bedtime as this will interfere with your natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep. In contrast, natural light exposure during the day helps keep your circadian rhythm healthy and has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration.
4. Wind down and relax before going to bedAround 30-60 minutes before your set bedtime, wind down by reading a book, listen to calming music, do some low-impact stretching or even take a warm bath. This will make you more relaxed and make it easier to fall asleep.
5. Use supplements to your advantageOxySleep Collagen Cocoa is EHPlabs newest night time supplement. It contains a functional blend of unique ingredients including; L-Theanine, Ashwagandha, Chamomile flowers, Passionflower and bovine collagen which work synergistically to promote restful deep sleep for optimal recovery and weight management.
L-Theanine decreases feelings of stress and assists with appetite control. This is particularly beneficial for anyone on a fat loss journey looking to combat late-night cravings or those who are looking for a low calorie dessert after dinner.
Chamomile Flowers & Passionflower assist with balancing stress levels, increase feelings of relaxation & enhance sleep quality and promote deep sleep.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen which has been found to have a remarkable impact on stress, anxiety and sleep quality.
Pasture-raised bovine collagen is beneficial for skin and gut health as well as ligament, joint and muscle support for optimal recovery and whole-body wellness.
If you care for your health, now is the time to prioritize your sleep and avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed!