Sleep and the Effects on your Health
We spend a third of our lives doing it.
Napoleon, Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours a night.
Thomas Edison claimed it was waste of time
We have to sleep because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. In other words, sleep plays a significant role in brain development.
Lack of sleep has serious effects on our brain’s ability to function. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you’ll be familiar with the following after-effects: grumpiness, grogginess, irritability and forgetfulness. After just one night without sleep, concentration becomes more difficult and attention span shortens considerably.
With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine). This is the legal drink driving limit in the UK….WOW!!! (BBC Health)
Its a well known fact that now-a-days we just don’t seem to get enough sleep.
All I ever seem to hear is “im soo tired” and “ I got no sleep last night” and the amount of peoples status’s on facebook say it all! Everyone seems to be TIRED……needless to say MOST people will of probably of spent half the night on bloody facebook doing F all!!
Lack of sleep can seriously stop any weight loss and not only that it can have an overall effect on you Health and Wellbeing. You end up surviving on “Caffiene” and other stimulants, believing that they will truly work.
Most of the time you will wake up feeling rough as toast and wishing that bloody alarm hadn’t gone off….and guess what this then puts you in a BAD MOOD for the rest of your day….or well at least until u get your caffeine fix!
Sleep is FABULOUS….I think its the best invention ever…god bless u Sleep Creator! Sleep helps the body to recover, rest and repair. Also during sleep, the Growth Hormone increase, this is a hormone that is essential for Fat Loss and Health…….something to think about hey!
There are lots of things that can effect sleep:
- Caffiene – this helps raise cortisol levels, increase any wakenings and also puts you into “Sleep Debt” …..as its keeping you alert.
- Any form of Processed Food(especially if you have it as your “last” meal before bed)…seriouslya Pizza at 10pm…is a recipe for insomnia. Its full of those dreaded E-Numbers
- LAPTOPS and TV before bed…come on, I know this has hit a nerve how many of us stay up late watching TV or on facebook etc?
- Alcohol! Now I know when youve had a few sometimes you can fall asleep straight away,but it will only increase your wakenings through the night , as cortisol levels are raised.
- Some prescription Drugs (although this is a case for the medical profession) esp Anti Depressents
- STRESS (see related article)
So what can you do to combat this –its Simples (in my best meerkat voice):
- DONT watch the TV or be on the LAPTOP before bed….you need to unwind in bed. Turn it all off 1 hr before bed
- Take Magnesium (see related article)
- Just bin the caffeine and stimulant related stuff….seriously coffee before bed?? (adenosine is one of the chemicals thought to accumulate during wakefulness, and caffeine inhibits the actions of this, therefore keeping you awake!)
- Read before bed, but make sure its NOT something work/study related. Try something easy and simple….a book that doesn’t require the use of your brain
- TULSI TEA!! Mmmmmm
- Look at your Bedroom environment (lighting, TV, comfort)
- Get a “pre-sleep routine” avoid any stressful activities before be, as this cuases the body to release cortisol, which will increase alterness. Do you take problems to bed with you? (an no I don’t mean your partner) the write them down and deal with them tomorrow.
- Look at your last meal…was it clean? Or was it full of processed sh*t and sugar?
ooo Sugar Sugar
Sugar…..do do do dodoooo ohhh honey honey….
Did you know that Sugar is actually seen as an “energy food”…could this be anymore misleading?…There is enough evidence out there that White Sugar actually robs the body of B Vitamins, disrupts calcium metabolism and has an effect on the nervous system…..still want some sugar?
Simple Carbs/SUGAR can cause drastic spikes of Blood Glucose Levels…Simple Carbs/ Sugars are refined and the body doesnt event recognise any benefits from them
Glucose is the form of energy you were designed to run on…..every cell uses Glucose for energy
The more sugar you eat, the more effective your body is in absorbing it and the more you absorb, the more damage you do…..see?? You become “sensitized” to sugar as time goes on.
Because sugar tastes good, it can be very difficult to avoid consuming excess amounts of it. Sugar is habit forming. It is addicting. And that can lead to all kinds of health problems. Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value. Consuming a lot of sugar is the equivalent of taking a daily fat pill.
Some Sugary Facts (based in US…but lets be honest we here in the UK are not too far behind now…)
in 1700 the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar a year
in 1800 the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar a year
in 1900 the average person consumed about 90 pounds of sugar a year
in 2009 the average person consumed about 180 pounds of sugar a year
Sugar is in soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks,spreads, sauces and as mentioned before in most processed foods (all fibre has been removed from processed foods so there is no value to them at all) …any wonder the obesity epidemic is getting worse?
Cereals, Coffee, Tea, Cakes….all comfort foods that were always meant as “treats” are now being part of peoples daily diet.
Even worse…Sugar in excess can actually cause Hormonal changes in the body that will lead to overeating….and sometimes without you even realising
Suppress the Immune System
Increase Blood Sugar levels (leading to Liver fatigue and possibly Diabetes)
Increase risk/severity of Depression
Want to feel better:
Improve your nutrition and REMOVE (or at least cut down) your sugar intake
SLEEP is key
By doing all this you will soon find dont and wont “NEED” that sugar fix for energy
1 tsp of sugar gives the body the same reaction as a potato, but sugar is an ANTI Nutrient….so it doesnt really help the body in anyway!!
Carbs from Veggies, Fruit and Grains contain more nutrients than from sugar….so its pretty much self explanitary
Sugar is actually found in the majority of the “fat free” food you see out there now….lets be honest if its FAT FREE they have to add something to it to give it some taste….so FATE FREE = CHEMICAL SH*TSTORM!!
When you eat sugar it triggers production of the brains natural Opioids (a key ingredient in the addiction process) therefore when you eat sugar your brain becomes addicted to the release of Opioids…proving again that SUGAR ADDICTION is just as bad as Alcohol and Drugs…….(studies have shown this, Ive not just made it up) scary hey?? Thats why it is so hard for people to step away from the sugary, processed filled foods…because unknowingly they become addicted!!
Sugar = bad health = unhappiness…..meaning sugar is actually an unhappy pleasure….not so appealing when you think of it like that is it.
Ever had that daily fatigue/mid afternoon slump…what do most people reach for? A Sugary filled snack….adding to the adverse effects of Sugar and still believing that it will bring them some energy.
Sugar will raise both Insulin and Leptin Levels and cause Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Weight Gain and Premature Ageing……not something I think any o us are looking for, I am sure you would agree.
Found in the majority of processed foods. It contains NO vitamins or minerals so it robs from the body.
Only “natural” when found in fresh fruits that contain all the Vits and Mins needed by us.
20 times sweeter than table sugar.
The body metabolizes Fructose in a different way from Glucose and this burden of doing so lies with the Liver
120 cals of fructose results in 40 cals getting stored as FAT
Interferes with brains communication with leptin…which results in overeating
So all these “diet” and “low fat” packaged food you are buying are actually NO GOOD for you at all, they are jam packed full of simple carbs and sugars that provide no benefits and no nutritional value to you and your body….so DONT be fooled by the big LOW FAT Label plastered all over them.
BE wise when choosing your meals….its not just about CALORIES!!!
STEP AWAY FROM THE SUGAR CUBES
Do you VALUE YOUR HEALTH?
How much do you value your Health?
Seems like an easy question, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t actually put any value on their Health….
Where does Health rate in your priorities?
Would you choose investing in your Health over that new pair of shoes or that night out?
Now I know these sound like crazy, random questions but its something I often think about.
For me – Health ranks near the top. I would rather invest in my health (Whether that means gym, classes, nutrition, food, time) than buy something materialistic.
Now listen…there is nothing wrong with buying yourself something or enjoying a night out with friends, but when it comes to a choice between that and you HEALTH, what would you choose??
So where is this going I hear you say?….
Well I see a lot of people “wanting” to lose weight/tone up/results and then also saying they’d love to attend a gym/class/buy a dvd/join an online program…..but they never seem to invest or they umm and ahhh it – but then in the same breath will go to starbucks 3 x times spending about £15 a week/go on a night out every weekend spending about £100+/waste a £5 here and there on meaningless stuff and eat out for their lunch (normally crappy food) a few times a week…..Im sure if you added all that up you’d see what I mean.
People say they don’t have the “money” or disposable income to be able to invest in their health and fitness, but will go out splurging on materialistic things/alcohol/ciggies…etc…..guess what, its called “Priorities”
Ruthless?? Maybe so…but you and I both know its the truth.
Ive used the word “INVEST” a lot because thats what it is….when you INVESt in your Health, you are making a commitment and showing how much you value your health, don’t see it as an expense, as this just brings negative feelings and reminds you of nasty bills you need to pay every month.
You INVEST in your home to make it nicer/better/cosy…..so why wouldn’t you invest in your health this way
Investing in your health shouldn’t be seen as a bill…its a MUST
BTW if you have done the things above – it doesn’t make you a bad person, its your life and your choices…but I ask WHY….WHY wont you value your health more??
Spending £5 (ish) on a Fitness Class that is going to get you results (in my eyes) far outweighs that large coffee at a coffee shop
Spending some ££ on an Online Program or Personal Training (in my eyes) far outweighs that pair of red shows you bought, that you cant walk in but you bought anyways and may wear once.
How much do you value your health???/
Its totally up to you what you spend your hard earned money on, but before you moan that you feel fat or that you aren’t getting the results you “deserve” then step back and take a look on what you are investing your money on.
Are you ready to make an investment in YOU and YOUR HEALTH?
Are you ready to VALUE YOUR HEALTH more?