Taking sleep for granted can be a big mistake as having the right amount is essential for staying fit and healthy.
Sleeping, a natural body function that is as important as eating and should never be neglected. You will surely have a hard time staying fit if you have too much or too little sleep. For weight watchers, it is important to learn the connection between lack of sleep and obesity.
It is a vicious cycle: Lack of sleep stimulates the release of hormones, like ghrelin, that promotes appetite and hunger which increases a person’s risk of developing obesity. On the other hand, people suffering to obesity have problems sleeping due to clogged airways that constrain breathing, keeping the body from staying healthy by not getting enough rest.
Studies show that lack of sleep, even a few hours of deficit, can cause serious problems to people’s health and can undermine efforts in staying healthy. Sleeping for just six hours a night heightens a person’s chances of developing obesity by 23 percent, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health. Moreover, sleeping no more than four hours per night raises the risk up to 73 percent.
In addition to increased chances of obesity, sleeping fewer than six hours per night for just two weeks can significantly slow down reaction time, memory and cognition, according to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania of Medicine in Philadelphia. Staying healthy will be impossible with less than five hours of sleep as it can increase by 50 percent the risk of high blood pressure due to the heightened levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which restricts the heart. This can lead to a weaker immune system, heart disease and stroke.
Sleep, a simple, natural act that can help us in staying fit and healthy with the added bonus of preventing us from gaining weight. It is time that we realize that letting our body rest when it feels tired is not a bad work ethic. Because on the contrary, we will never achieve productivity when we are too tired to even think straight.
Stop thinking that not sleeping today is good for your future because if you don’t rest, you may not have enough tomorrow to enjoy.