Zzzzz Yourself to a Healthy Happy Glow
Sleep is such an important component of our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, our appetite, blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease, infections and dare I say it, wrinkles and puffy skin.
Here’s a bit more about why sleep is important to get a healthy, happy, glow!
We know that sleep is needed for the body to rejuvenate and repair itself. Studies have shown a link between insufficient sleep and increased levels of stress, heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. Lack of sleep can suppress your immune system, which makes you more vulnerable to infections.
Better Weight Control
Getting a good night’s sleep can help in weight loss. Scientists in Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that a lack of sleep can slow your metabolism down which in turn can have a hand in adding on the pounds.
Also when you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels drop. Leptin is a hormone that plays a key role in making you feel full so when you are tired you tend to be hungrier and worse still, you tend to crave high-calorie foods.
These coupled with the fact that when you are overtired you are less likely to have the energy to work-out or cook a healthy meal can be detrimental to your weight loss efforts.
When I’m tired I can be a cranky aul bitch and can get the blues where a negative mindset creeps in and my internal Mean Girl takes over the show!
Not getting enough sleep has been shown to affect your emotional regulation so you’re more likely to feel the blues, be snappy or what I like to call, delirious (laughing or crying hysterically for no apparent reason!). When I get a good night’s zzz’s I’m in a better mood and I’m more likely to bounce back from setbacks or things going wrong in the day. Better for me and better for those around me!
Better Brain Function and Memory
Who hasn’t woken up after a bad night’s sleep feeling like their brain just won’t get in gear leading to a desperate need for a caffeine fix? Not getting a good night’s sleep can impair your focus, attention span, decision making skills and cognition and can increase the likelihood of making mistakes. Not only can this have an impact on doing your job but it can have more serious consequences as the Road Safety Authority maintain that one fifth of road accidents in Ireland is due to driver fatigue.
Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate all our memories from the day. If we don’t get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly — and can be lost, leading to the ‘memory of a goldfish’ scenario.
We’ve all heard of the advice ‘sleep on it’ when we’ve a problem we need solving. Scientists have found that when we do this our brains still look for a solution even when we’re fast asleep. Even if you don’t wake up with an answer, a good night’s sleep will equip your brain to assess the problem afresh.
They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!!!
While we sleep, our bodies take time to restore energy and rebuild tissue and cells. Lack of sleep can lead to dull skin due to a decrease in collagen production which is needed to give skin its firmness, elasticity and glow.
Poor sleep can lead to puffy bags and circles under your eyes and dryness and more visible wrinkles. This is because the body’s hydration rebalances while you are asleep so the skin is able to recover moisture, while any excess water is processed for removal. Not getting enough sleep means that there is poor water balance.
If you already suffer with breakouts, not getting enough sleep can actually make them worse. Lack of sleep leads to stress which leads to inflammation. An increased inflammatory response results in increased breakouts, skin sensitivity and skin irritation.
Finally during deep sleep, the rise in growth hormones allow damaged cells to become repaired and allows fresh new skin cells replace old dead skin. If you don’t get these deeper phases of sleep, this won’t occur. These daily small breakdowns will then accumulate and result in an acceleration of aging.
So make quality sleep (7 – 9 hours) a priority and your body, your mind, your skin and your soul with thank you!