9 reasons why

good sleep is important

Lack of sleep can make you fat

Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain.  People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep.  In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.  The effect of sleep on weight gain is mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.  Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.   If you’re trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.

Poor sleep can lead to Premature Aging and Increased Inflammation

Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in your body. In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.  Cortisol levels naturally decrease while we sleep, lower levels of cortisol allow your skin to regenerate and protect itself. Miss out on sleep, though, and that cycle is disrupted. Persistently high cortisol levels can interfere with how well our bodies heal and contribute to the breakdown of collagen leading to premature aging.

Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It’s forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.  Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning math, how to play

Poor Sleep can affect your mood and emotional balance

Studies show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you are sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.  Children and teens who are sleep deficient may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.

Sleep is vital for a properly functioning immune system

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you are sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.

We Heal and Grow When we Sleep

Sleep not only supports healthy growth and development in adults. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.

Getting plenty of sleep can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 

Sleep Affects Glucose Metabolism and Diabetes Risk

Sleep affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Poor Sleep is linked to Depression

Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.  Poor sleep is even associated with an increased risk of death by suicide.
Understanding what happens during sleep also means understanding the sleep cycle, which consists of  two recurring phases: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-REM or non-rapid eye movement). Both phases are important for different functions in our bodies.
NREM sleep typically occupies 75–80% of total sleep each night. Many of the health benefits of sleep take place during NREM sleep – tissue growth and repair occurs, energy is restored and hormones that are essential for growth and development are released.
REM sleep typically occupies 20–25% of total sleep each night. REM sleep, when dreaming occurs, is essential to our minds for processing and consolidating emotions, memories and stress. It is also thought to be vital for learning, stimulating the brain regions used in learning and developing new skills.
If the REM and NREM cycles are interrupted multiple times throughout the night — either due to snoring, difficulties breathing or waking up frequently throughout the night — then we miss out on vital body processes, which can affect our health and well-being the next day and long term.

Get the sleep that you need

I call it improving your “Sleep Hygiene”; basically instilling in yourself a series of habits and good practices that will aid you in getting good quality sleep at the right time.  It goes like this:

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. For children, have a set bedtime and a bedtime routine. Don’t use the child’s bedroom for timeouts or punishment.
Try to keep the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends. Limit the difference to no more than about an hour. Staying up late and sleeping in late on weekends can disrupt your body clock’s sleep-wake rhythm.
Use the hour before bed for quiet time. Avoid strenuous exercise and bright artificial light, such as from a TV or computer screen. The light may signal the brain that it’s time to be awake.
Avoid heavy and/or large meals within a couple hours of bedtime. (Having a light snack is okay.)
Avoid nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine. They are stimulants and can interfere with sleep. The effects of caffeine can last as long as 8 hours. So, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night.
Spend time outside every day and be physically active.
Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.
Keep your bedroom for sleeping and being intimate with your partner.  Do not use your bedroom for eating, watching tv, working or working out, make it a sacred place devoted to rest and self-care.
Take a hot bath with soothing essential oils like lavender before going to bed.
Practice relaxation techniques such as breathwork and meditation before bed.

For more practical suggestions and help to reach and maintain a positive sleep pattern and healthy productive life join us on retreat at Bali Lifestyle and Fitness Retreats or contact us at contact@amandajanelife.com for free private coaching via Skype, Messenger or WhatsApp.