Lack of sleep can play a major role in your ability to maximize your nutrition and workout efforts. I want to make sure that you can give yourself the best chance to succeed no matter what workout plan you are on, BUT if you are not getting the proper rest all of that can be for nothing!
So this is why I am talking about the importance of proper rest.
According to research done by Harvard Medical School, when it comes to lack of sleep, or sleep deprivation, it can lead to a number of issues that can harm the body.
Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain or obesity believe it or not, and let me explain how...
It also INCREASES the levels of ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant, or "hunger hormone". This is the hormone that tells us we are hungry and it's time to eat. So if you have an increase in this hormone, you are going to feel hungry more often, and in turn eat more throughout your day.
Having chronic or acute lack of sleep can also LOWER the hormone leptin, which tells your brain when you have had enough to eat. This means your brain is not telling you when to stop eating as much as it should.
Thirdly, sleep deprivation will also prompt your body to release HIGHER levels of insulin when you're finished eating. This causes the body to store fat, which in turn increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
And to top it off, lack of sleep can cause an INCREASE in production of the stress hormone cortisol. And what happens to some of us when we are stressed? We eat!
So all of these things combined vastly increase your chances of gaining large amounts of weight at an increased rate than if you simply got proper rest each night.
Because of all these factors due to sleep deprivation, the weight gain begins to lead into other health concerns, largely with your cardiovascular health.
Not only is fat loss virtually impossible, but chronic health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and even stroke can become a major issue if you are not allowing your body to get the proper rest it needs.
If you are not getting enough sleep, you can also be doing damage to your brain. You can literally trigger depression and impulsive behavior if you are not getting proper rest!
You can effect your cognitive function negatively as well as impair your short term and long term memory. During sleep is when your neurons rebuild and repair the brain, so when you deprive yourself of ample rest, you are depriving your brain the ability to literally build itself stronger.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that adults of ages 18-64 years old should get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
So what are some healthy ways to practice better sleep habits?
Turn off all your electronics before bed.
Practice a calming bedtime ritual - meditation, reading, hot bath, etc.
Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
Make sure your bedroom as the ideal light, temperature, and sound for your sleep comfort level.