Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sleep... It's a Good Thing!

Good morning!! How is everyone!?

I apologize for the overkill of exclamation points, but I guess that's what a good night's sleep will do to a blog post! I'm not sure whether it's my staying up past my bedtime watching the Olympics the past several nights, or my intense cycle class yesterday that did me in, but as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out!

So why am I gloating about how great I slept last night? Well, I want to discuss just how important sleep is in  e v e r y t h i n g  we do - work, losing weight, exercising, reading, functioning, etc.

If any of you know me on a personal level, or just by stalking me on Facebook... you might be aware that I'm a HUGE Seinfeld fan. There is an episode where Kramer tries some crazy sleep schedule so he can be awake for so many extra days in his life.....

If you took the 3 minutes out of your busy schedule to watch the above video, you can see just how lack of sleep eventually catches up to you and your daily functions slowly become harder and harder to do until eventually you aren't able to function at all. It's interesting to note (or at least I think so) that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. 

So let's get down to the good stuff, the straight facts if you will.... source

How Much Sleep Do You Need?
  • A recent test revealed that 95% of the population needs between 7 and 8 hours of sleep. 
  • Only 2.5% of the population needs less than 7 hours. 
  • So the answer... 8 hours

Why Do You Need So Much Sleep?
  • Lack of sleep takes a toll on our health, mood, productivity and cognitive capacity
  • Memory takes the largest hit from staying up too late and not getting those 8 hours

Importance of Sleep from a Weight Loss Standpoint:
  • A lot of people aren't aware of the relationship between sleep and losing weight
  • Besides the fact that enough sleep allows us to make healthy food choices and enough energy to get in daily exercise, it's also allows a hormone in our body to do it's job in burning fat - the growth hormone
  • Real quickly, the growth hormone is responsible for building muscle and burning fat. It regulates our body's fuel in between meals and is most active during the night
  • Growth hormone increases during the first 2 hours of deep sleep - especially between midnight and 4am
  • Those of us who get less than 7 hours of sleep, or inadequate sleep, will more than likely NOT receive the fat-burning effects from this hormone

Are we all on the same page now? Good! I hope so! Now go get those 8 hours in! (well, later tonight...)

Stay Healthy,

Who all gets their 8 hours of sleep on most nights?
I feel like I'm pretty good at getting in enough sleep. I will admit that the Olympics has been keeping me up well past my desired bedtime... but what can I say.... men's swimming gets me every time :)

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