Sleep is often the first sacrifice we make in our hectic lives. In between work, family, friends, trying to eat right, exercise and doing your laundry, there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone get enough sleep. However, current research reveals more and more reasons to prioritize our sleep.
Here are 3 reasons to prioritize sleep:
1. Sleep more and protect your heart!
Decreased sleep due to a sleep disorder or insufficient sleep leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Lack of sleep affects how the nervous system interacts with the heart. When you don’t get enough sleep, the nervous system essentially tells your heart to work harder.
2. Sleep more and optimize your brain function!
Sleep deprivation leads to cognitive deficits. Seems obvious, right? However, a study showed that most people are not aware that their brains are not functioning normally. Even worse, cognitive abilities decreased significantly at only moderate sleep deficits. Basically, if you are sleeping only 6 hours a night, your brain functions as if you haven’t slept for 2 nights!
3. Sleep more and manage your weight!
Reduced sleep may be related to weight gain. Sleeping less seems to impact the hormonal regulation on appetite. So when you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to eat more. One study found that people who slept 6 hours a night rather than 8 hours ate 300 more calories a day. This translates to 30 pounds over the course of a year! So how about catching a few more hours of sleep rather than a few more pounds?
1. Tolbaldini, E. (2014). Effects of acute and chronic sleep deprivation on cardiovascular regulation. Arch Ital Bio, 152(2-3), 103-110.
2. Donegan, V. (2003). The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: Dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep, 26(2), 117-26.
3. Patel, SR. (2009). Reduced sleep as an obesity risk factor. Obes Rev, Suppl 2, 61-8.
I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient.