Sleep is by far the most important Rich Habit for good health. Inadequate sleep has the following negative repercussions:
- Reduction in Leptin – Leptin is a hormone that signals it is time to stop eating. Inadequate sleep reduces the concentration of this very important hormone, leading you overeat.
- Increase in Ghrelin – Ghrelin is a hormone that signals it is time to eat. Inadequate sleep increases the production of this hormone, leading you to overeat.
- Increase in Blood Sugar Levels – Insulin is a hormone that circulates throughout your bloodstream, notifying your cells to open specific channels on their cell walls to take in glucose, thus removing glucose from the bloodstream. Inadequate sleep causes the cells to become unresponsive to insulin, thus, glucose is not absorbed by the cells, causing high blood sugar levels to continue unabated.
- Increases Blood Pressure – Sleep deactivates the sympathetic nervous system, which amps up during the day, while you are awake. High blood pressure is the result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system and causes blood vessel walls inside the coronary artery to stretch and become damaged, leading to atherosclerosis, or the build up of calcium deposits (plaques) on artery walls.
- Decrease in Growth Hormone – Growth Hormone is the great healer of the body – it helps heal damage done to your blood vessels during your waking day. During normal sleep, Growth Hormone surges, cleaning up the mess to blood vessels caused by being awake. Inadequate sleep reduces the production of Growth Hormone, damaging the vascular plumbing throughout the body.
- Increases Atherosclerosis – Side effect of prolonged, increased blood pressure, caused by inadequate sleep.
- Increases Weight Gain – Side effect of decrease in Leptin and increase in Ghrelin, as a result of inadequate sleep.
- Decrease in Memory – Deep Non-Rem sleep occurs throughout the night but is more prominent during the last few hours of sleep. During Deep Non-Rem sleep, the hippocampus transfers information it acquired during the day to different parts of the cortex for purposes of long-term memory storage. Inadequate sleep means you lose those precious few hours of sleep and this impairs memory.
- Decrease in Immune System – Inadequate sleep depresses your immune system. A depressed immune system can lead to diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, and many other diseases.
- Increase in Risk of Alzheimers – Amyloid plaque and the protein Tu are removed from brain cells during sleep. Inadequate sleep shortens this janitorial process, causing the build up of these two brain-destroying toxins.
- Decrease in Testosterone – Testosterone is critical to the maintenance of bone density and muscle strength. During sleep, Testosterone surges, repairing any damage to bones or muscles. Inadequate sleep throws a wrench into this damage-repair process.
- Decrease in Willpower Energy – You Willpower Rain Barrel becomes empty during the day, while awake. During a full night’s sleep, this rain barrel is completely restored. Inadequate sleep keeps the Willpower Rain Barrel from being filled and this means less willpower energy the following day. Willpower energy is critical to making good decisions and focus. Thus, lake of adequate sleep translates into bad decisions and a lack of focus.
According to sleep researcher Matthew Walker, PhD, the optimal amount of sleep required each day is a range between 7-8.5 hours.
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