There aren’t many reading this who can say with confidence that you get enough sleep. Between work, kids, your social life and perhaps just being a ‘bad sleeper’, those 9 hours can become a thing of mystery.
Here’s why you need to prioritise a good night’s sleep as best you can:
1. Sleep controls your diet
A lack of sleep has been shown to reduce the effects of a healthy diet, drastically. Research done by the University of Chicago found that people on the same diet who got enough sleep lost significantly more fat than those who were getting less sleep. The study also found that those with less sleep felt hungrier when awake.
2. Tipsy or Exhausted?
You know when you get up from a shocking night’s sleep and feel grumpy, dazed and confused? Your fat cells feel a bit like that too. In the same study as above, the term “metabolic grogginess” was coined. Basically within just four days of poor sleep, your fat cells stop removing the bad stuff from your blood and start pumping out insulin… which leads to fat storage in all the wrong places.
3. Lack of rest makes you crave food
Many people seem to think that what you put in your mouth has a lot to do with willpower. You could argue this to an extent, but if your body is healthy and happy, it doesn’t crave things like sugar and junk food. To give you a brief science lesson, hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin. The latter stimulates hunger while the former can make you feel full. In other words, you need to control both to successfully lose weight. Sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible.
4. Lower your stress levels
This doesn’t all have to do with weight loss. It’s also about being able to balance your life in a healthy and happy way. You don’t need convincing on this one… if you’re exhausted, you’re often stressed. We’ve all felt it. Your ability to deal with a hectic day can hit rock bottom, then you have another crappy sleep because you didn’t get everything done, and the cycle goes on.
If you managed to stay with us through all that info… you’ll now understand why we need to PRIORITISE SLEEP!
While there’s no hard and fast number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to aim for between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more.
Simon could go on about this topic forever… so if you’ve got any further questions, just give him a yell! You can also read more about the aforementioned studies here and here. In the meantime, happy sleeping.