The morning alarm is never a welcome sound when you have barely got any shut-eye. Sleeping is the time when our bodies recharge and rest after an active day. While sleeping too much can make you lethargic and drowsy, not getting enough sleep can do more than add a few bags under your eyes. According to Statistics Canada, on average, women get more sleep than men. But, we also have a harder time getting to sleep and staying asleep. Here are some reasons to really invest in getting the sleep you need.
The less sleep you get, the more likely you will gain weight.
Many sleep studies show that people who get seven hours or less of sleep on average per night are more likely to become overweight. Not catching enough z’s can alter your hormones that regulate hunger. When you are tired, you are more likely to eat foods that are high in fat, because they are quick and easy to prepare. It is very easy to enter a vicious cycle of feeling tired and trying to combat that feeling with high sugar foods or caffeinated drinks that will cause your waistline to expand. Your body will experience sleep debt and be unable to function properly, and make correct food choices, until that debt is equaled out. So, if you skimp on sleep for a few days, make a conscious effort to get to bed early for the next week to get back on your regular sleeping and eating schedule!
Lack of sleep can contribute to heart disease.
Women that regularly get only a few hours of sleep a night can be more prone to suffer from hypertension, a symptom that leads to heart disease. When your sleep deprived, your body tries to make up for the lack of sleep and does so by producing more of the stress hormone. This imbalance in your body can eventually lead to heart problems, due to the added strain on the heart. Let your heart slow down and rest by getting the rest you need yourself.
Not getting enough sleep can make you more susceptible to getting sick.
Your body does not only rest while you are asleep, it repairs itself and boosts your immune system. Chemicals called cytokines are produced while you are sleeping to help your immune system fight off any infections or sickness. That is why your Mom always told you to get lots of rest when you were sick as a kid. Sleep also helps your body produce antibodies after receiving medicine or vaccines. A person who lacks sleep is not going to produce as many antibodies, as someone who gets eight or nine hours of sleep consistently.
People who are sleep deprived are downright cranky.
When you haven’t slept as much as you should, you are not only less energetic but your brain is sent into overdrive. The brain tries to function at the same pace as it would normally, but with a lack of sleep the part of your brain that controls emotions cannot produce responses as well. Your body will feel more sluggish and you will be less inclined to want to go out and have fun. So, treat your body right and listen to it when it is telling you it needs sleep. Turn off all electronics, make your room as dark as possible, and sacrifice staying up to watch your favourite show in exchange for a good nights rest.