Science of Sleep
To be successful, you must grind, grind, grind, putting in hours at the gym, at work, on side projects, while trying to keep some semblance of a social life. It leaves time for little else. So you tell yourself you'll sleep when you're dead. But if you live by that, you may be speeding up the process.
Sleep is extremely important for health. 90% of people with insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by having trouble falling and staying asleep, also have another health condition. While insomnia is extreme, most people do not get the 7-9 hours a night adults require, compromising your health. And if you're killing it in the gym, that sleep becomes even more vital to seeing results and maintaining your physique.
How can your lack of sleep hurt your physique?
Lack of sleep lowers testosterone
Sleep specialists say that sleep deprived people have lower levels of testosterone, report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Not only does low testosterone effect your sex drive, but it can hurt your muscle mass as well. Your ability to build lean muscle mass relies on testosterone. Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth spurts, but as we age, it helps increase muscle mass, as well as thicken skin, and strengthen bones. Sleep is when your body repairs itself from the wear and tear of the day and your workouts. It’s during deep sleep that growth hormone is released as a part of normal tissue repair, so If you cut your sleep short, you don't reap the rewards of your workout, no matter how hard you crushed it.
Lack of sleep is depressing
Depression is a serious medical condition, and insomnia has the strongest link to depression: In a 2007 study of 10,000 people found those with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression as those without. Even mild sleep loss can aggravate the symptoms of depression, causing and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Over time, lack of sleep can contribute to the symptoms of depression, which includes lack of motivation and lack of interest in the things you love: ie. the gym.
Lack of sleep puts you in fat packing mode
Your hormones rule your body, and without sleep, your hormones get out of whack. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol signals to your body to store extra weight around your middle. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and in some cases, obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. Two other hormones, ghrelin, which stimulates hunger and leptin, which signals satiety and suppresses appetite are also negatively affected by lack of sleep. Increased hunger combined with strct instructions to store fat is a dangerous combination.
Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Extra sleep won't make you lose weight, but too little sleep hampers your metabolism and contributes to weight gain. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, every night, it;s good for you
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