Whatever we call it, we absolutely need it!

We have all had those “Monday Blues” and that really tired feeling at the end of the work week.  Maybe another cup of coffee, or a donut will pick me up kind-a-day! But what if that feeling isn’t just normal “Monday feels” after a great weekend.  What if you simply are . . . . that tired.  

Lately, I’ve been doing more. My days are longer and I’m getting less sleep.  Most of us know what that feels like. I feel like the walking dead! My focus is all over the place, and any place that looks somewhat comfortable would be heaven if I could just sit and rest my eyes for a few minutes. Aah the magic of sleep!  

Sleep in general is the way our bodies recharge.  Basically is one of our essential tools as human beings. So why oh why do we do everything we can to deny ourselves this right? 

I’m guessing that since you are reading this blog post, you are doing your best to be or get healthy.  Why is it though that when it comes to getting in better shape, we tend to think of working out more and changing our diets?  What is typically overlooked is how important the role of sleep is, not only in the regeneration of your body, but in weight loss and muscle building.

Let’s talk science for a minute.  Don’t worry, it’s not the really in-depth, make you fall asleep kinda stuff (Wait, see what I did there hahaha!). Sleep, or lack thereof, can affect a number of hormones in the body. Did you know that some hormones are responsible for controlling your appetite?  That’s pretty important when you are trying to lose weight. Many hormones are responsible for cell regeneration, reproduction, and growth. This is what helps build muscle and muscle is the only tissue in the body that burns fat. Let me say that again. “MUSCLE IS THE ONLY TISSUE IN THE BODY THAT BURNS FAT!” Finally, sleep lowers your cortisol levels.  Lower cortisol levels mean a higher metabolism. If you aren’t getting enough sleep your cortisol levels will rise, which will lower your metabolism and you guessed it…that can lead to weight gain.

Sleep…yep it really is important!  People who don’t get enough sleep can experience the following:

  • Obesity, undesirable body composition
  • Increased appetite and caloric intake, leading to weight gain
  • Poor concentration.  
  • Compromised Immune System
  • Depression
  • Decreased athletic performance

Tips for getting better Zzzzz’s!

  1. Keep your bedroom cool and dark
  2. Power down all devices.  Shut everything off 1 hour before bed
  3. Reduce caffeine and alcohol before bed
  4. Avoid heavy meals before bed; we’re talking 2 hours before for optimal results!
  5. Use your bed, your sanctuary, for sleep and coitus only
  6. Exercise regularly 
  7. Try meditation or restorative yoga
  8. Foam roll

Author: Tyler Gosley

Editor: Jane Thurmond