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  • Courtney Marie

Why We Need to Prioritize Sleep



Over the years, our lives have become more hectic and fast-paced than ever before. We are working to earn a living, taking care of our homes, raising children, trying to socialize and still have time for ourselves. We are constantly being bombarded with external stimuli, from television and computers, to phones And tablets. Many of us are so accustomed to giving and receiving information instantly that we forget to slow down and reflect on ourselves. We glorify hustle culture. Our diets are full of sugar, caffeine and processed foods, and more and more, our emotional health and physical activity seem to take a back seat. We are left feeling exhausted before bed, while not waking feeling refreshed.


Sleep is required for repair and rejuvenation. Allowing our bodies to shut down and rebuild on a nightly basis enable us to begin each day with energy and enthusiasm. Making an effort to improve your sleep habits can enhance your quality of life and give you the motivation you need to achieve your health goals.


Sleep and Hormones

Cortisol:

Unhealthy sleep habits can have a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism because of its effect on blood sugar regulation. This leaves us at risk of fat gain, especially around the mid-section. Cortisol is the stress hormone. When we are sleep deprived, cortisol levels become elevated. When this occurs, the following areas suffer:

  • Appetite – can make you feel hungry even when you have eaten enough;

  • Raises blood sugar and insulin levels – causes you to crave carbohydrates unnecessarily;

  • Regular sleep patterns – makes it difficult to fall or stay asleep when you finally get to bed.


Leptin:

Sleep affects your hormonal balance, which is necessary for effective weight loss. This is particularly true of leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. This is why your sleep habits should be just as much of a priority as your nutrition plan and exercise routines.

  • Leptin is produced by the fat cells and acts as a signal to the brain, allowing us to determine when we are feeling full or when we should continue to eat.

  • Leptin levels naturally increase when we are sleeping, and drop off when we are sleep deprived.

  • When leptin levels decrease, we may feel excessively hungry and the chances of overeating are increased.


Lifestyle Habits to Improve Sleep Patterns