We all know sleep is important and key to our health. But in the scale of impact to overall health – how does sleep stack up against areas like diet & exercise? If you focused on a good night’s sleep over everything else, what kind of impact would that have on your overall health?
Well, prepare to be shocked.
We’ve tried to break down some of the key study results for you here – we invite you to make your own conclusion about if you need to re-focus your health efforts towards sleep:
Sleep affects our appetites and our body’s ability to burn calories efficiently
Short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. You read that right. As strong or stronger than diet or exercise (which we know, is confusing) people who consistently have their sleep interrupted or shortened REM and deep sleep cycles have a higher risk of obesity. Short sleep duration is associated with a drastically increased risk of weight gain and obesity, in both children and adults in many studies. A lack of sleep affects both the nature of the body’s ability to store and utilize energy reserves as well as appetite. How? Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate our appetite. Therefore, those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don’t.
A lack of sleep is correlated to lower brain functionality
Being sleep-deprived is as bad for your brain function as being drunk. Not tipsy. Drunk. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function and the most famous example of this fact is the medical student study where sleep-deprived students (6 or less hours) made 36% more errors than those with adequate sleep (7+ hours). Another significant finding is that working late – or delaying sleep – has the same cognitive affect on our brains as being sleep deprived.
A study here proved that staying awake for 17-19 hours straight impaired the participants the same as if they had 4-5 alcoholic beverages (or a blood alcohol level of 0.1). If your BAC is between 0.10 and 0.125 your speech will be slurred and your balance, vision, reaction time, and hearing will all be impaired. So staying up to pull an all-nighter is going to negatively impact your creativity and performance overall.
Good sleep is key to healthy immunity
Sleep is proven to improve your immune functions. Even a slight reduction in sleep can have DRASTIC affects on this. In a large study, they found that those who slept less than 7 hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more when both populations were exposed to the virus. So losing just ONE hour of sleep makes you 3x more susceptible. Those results are staggering.
Key takeaway here: a lack of sleep puts the body under constant stress and strain and the toll is exacted on your systems long-term.
If you think you can function with less than 7 hours of sleep a night, we challenge you to think again.
You may be surviving that bad sleep habit… but do not kid yourself about the toll it is potentially taking on your body long-term. Read full article here.
Looking for help getting a good night’s sleep? There is a really cool app called Pzizz. It takes the science behind sleep-inducing white noise and music and has turned that into an optimal sleep-induction app.
It’s backed by science too. Several studies conducted in clinical settings have suggested that sedative music has positive effects on sleep via muscle relaxation and distraction from thoughts. Music can decrease sympathetic nervous system activity, as well as anxiety, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
And sleep tight Leaguers!