On a daily basis we’re told about the latest drug or supplement that is supposed to vastly improve our quality of life— whether it’s more energy, better concentration, or helping us to become more physically fit. This all sounds great (until you read the fine print), but did you know that the perfect drug already exists and is available to everyone? It’s all-natural, has no side effects, and doesn’t cost you a dime.
Of course, we’re talking about sleep!
While health advocates often promote the importance of diet and exercise, sleep seldom gets the attention it deserves for being the third pillar of the total health and wellness trinity. In fact, the latest research shows that sleep is literally a “miracle drug” and should be taken much more seriously for anyone who is looking to improve their health, as well as their physical and mental performance.
Think about how you feel when you’re sleep deprived. If you’re reading this, you likely know how that feels all too well. Your body hurts, your mind isn’t clear, you get headaches, are easily agitated, and are not operating at 100%. You can avoid those terrible feelings and their byproducts by not only getting more sleep, but better sleep! When you get better sleep you can improve your memory, improve your mood, reduce chronic inflammation, drive and operate heavy machinery more safely, ensure your safety, successfully lose weight, improve your mind, and repair the cells in your body.
Sleep can do what?!
Getting enough sleep is one of the keys to success for top performers because the brain doesn’t shut down while we sleep. Sure, sleep “charges the batteries” so to speak, but it does much more than that. Sleep actually plays an integral role in learning and processing information.The brain also processes and consolidates memories during sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, it will impact the brain’s ability to retain information, meaning your learning process is impaired. This can have a severe impact on your personal and professional relationships.
Immune System & Energy
Lack of sleep causes stress on the body’s immune system, increasing the risk of developing an illness. Certain genes are in charge of restoring and rebuilding your body, but they are only turned on at night while you’re sleeping! By getting adequate sleep, we ensure that we are taking advantage of the natural processes that allow us to recover effectively. Without the right number of hours in a deep sleep, you’re going to constantly be fighting to live the healthy life you deserve.
Sleep & Weight Gain
Getting enough sleep is critical to maintaining a healthy weight. Hormones Leptin and Ghrelin are actually regulated during sleep, so without enough hours of rest, your body is not able to keep healthy levels of either hormone. The hormone Leptin tells you when your hunger has been satisfied and Ghrelin tells you when you’re hungry. Without the two in homeostasis, people will typically overeat and gain weight. You don’t want that, do you? Then get your rest!