• Christine Camara

Why Sleep Matters

Good, uninterrupted, nighttime sleep is more than just feeling well rested and reducing dark circles under your eyes. It plays a huge role in health and well-being.

If you’ve had sleepless nights, you know a lack of sleep can leave you cranky and out of sorts. But missing the needed 7.2 hours of sleep per night can do more than make you feel groggy and grumpy. Sleep deprivation affects the entire system. Lack of sleep drains mental abilities and puts physical health at risk with a range of issues from weight gain to a weakened immune system. Whilst we sleep, the body goes to work repairing and restoring systems. Internal organs rest and repair, tissue repairs, muscle growth and protein synthesis all take place.

Let’s take a deeper look.

Central Nervous System - the CNS

The CNS is the body’s communication system. Without proper sleep, the messages carried by the nervous system have difficulty being properly carried. As we sleep, neurons in the brain help you remember new information. Sleep deprivation leaves the brain exhausted so it can’t perform its duties well. This often leads to difficulty concentrating, remembering and reduced coordination (often resulting in injuries and accidents). It can affect our mood, lead to poor decision making and reduced creativity.

Emotions Without sufficient rest, you may have trouble keeping emotions in check. Increased feelings of irritability, anxiety, sadness and anger are common. You may even find you are more vulnerable to unprovoked bouts of laughter or tears.

Immune System

During sleep, the immune system is hard at work producing cytokines, infection fighting substances used to fight foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. They also help to give the immune system energy to defend against a range of illnesses. When sleep deprived, the immune system does not function optimally and inflammatory proteins and blood sugar levels increase. This leads to a weakened immune system leaving us more vulnerable to illness and slower to recover. Digestive System Lack of sleep contributes to weight gain. Sleep affects the levels of two important hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells your brain you’ve had enough to eat. Without sleep, your brain reduces leptin and increases ghrelin (which stimulates the appetite). Not to mention, when tired, it’s hard to have the motivation or energy to exercise which can lead to gain weight. Lack of sleep prompts the body to release higher levels of insulin after eating. Insulin controls your blood sugar; higher insulin levels promote fat storage and increase the risk of diabetes.

Cardiovascular System

Sleep plays a vital role helping to keep blood vessels healthy as well as the body’s ability to heal and repair vessels and the heart. This plays a role in blood pressure and inflammation levels

Endocrine System Hormones that help regulate appetite, stress, growth, metabolism and other bodily functions are released during sleep. Interrupted sleep can affect growth hormone productions which help build muscle mass and repair cells and tissues.

  • Having trouble sleeping? Here are some helpful hints: * Limit (or eliminate) day time naps. Keep the room cool while sleeping * Keep a set sleep schedule - even on weekends. * Limit caffeine, alcohol and sugar * Add in more exercise, eat a variety of whole, fresh foods * Limit blue light exposure from cell phones, computers, tvs, etc, especially before bed * Limit nighttime liquid intake so you don’t wake for a bathroom trip * ANF Therapy for melatonin and inflammation regulation Want to learn more? Let’s chat! Set up a FREE initial Health Coaching consultation or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit

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