May 29, 2024

Why Sleep Matters by Chanda Fetter

So much to do, who has time to sleep? Sleep is one of the essential necessities to a healthy, productive life.  Just as it’s important not to cut too many calories when trying to lose weight, you’re not to skimp on sleep either and here’s why…..

How we learn and retain information. Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.

Metabolism and potential weight gain. Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

Keeping you safe. Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime decreasing productivity. Fatigue increases the risk of falling during our daily activity causing injury. On a larger scale, sleep deprivation can lead to road accidents.

Nobody likes a grump. Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.

Cardiovascular health. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.

Fight off illness and disease. Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Our bodies were meant to have a 16 hour wake cycle which puts us at an 8 hour sleep cycle. Studies have shown that some individuals can get enough REM sleep in a 6 hour sleep cycle, the test is really in how you manage on the sleep you get. If you don’t suffer through bouts of drowsiness and sleepiness during the day then you can likely manage less sleep, however, anything less than 6 hours is just not enough. Some individuals need as much as 10 hours and contrary to common myth you don’t need less sleep as you age, however the ability to sleep for 6-8 hours at a time may be reduced.

Chanda Fetter
IMX Pilates Studio, Owner

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