Sleep, it can seem like such a luxury to busy mothers and fathers for that matter. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get all of our jobs done. Whether you work full time, part time or stay at home with the kids, they have a way of filling up your day. Taking care of a family is a lot of work and doesn’t really have a time clock. Does it have you feeling stressed, tired and like you are barely hanging on sometimes?
Did you know that the CDC actually calls lack of sufficient sleep a public health epidemic? Sadly you don’t even need to look at studies to see how bad it is. How many people in any given day when you ask “How are you doing today?” give you the answer “I am tired!”. Too many of us try to wear it like some badge of honor, I’ll sleep when I die!
Sleep seems like an easy place to cut back, to get just a few more hours in the day or even rest for a little after the kids go to bed. Is your lack of sleep actually holding you back though? Can cutting back on sleep actually make you less productive? The short answer is yes!
Here are 7 reasons you need more sleep today!
- Your body needs time to rejuvenate and rebuild – Simply put being awake puts your body in to a catabolic state (breaks you down) and sleeping puts you into a anabolic state (builds you up). Sleep helps your muscular, skeletal and immune systems to grow and rejuvenate. With all we do each day we need this time to rebuild!
- Fortifies Immune System If you aren’t sleeping well and then are exposed to a virus, your weakened immune system makes you much more likely to catch it. When researchers exposed a group of 153 people to the common cold, those who had been sleeping less than seven hours a night were almost three times more likely to catch the virus. Nothing wastes precious time more then an unwanted illness.
- Lower Stress and Increase Cardiovascular Health – Sleep helps reduce the overall stress on your body which can reduce inflamation and increase your cardiovascular health. “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.”
- Boosts Metabolism – According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Increases physical energy and coordination – A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
- Improve function of the brain– A study published in the Lancet looked at a group of physicians and proved that sleep-deprived group took 14 percent longer to complete a task and made 20 percent more errors then individuals who were well rested. Think of all that wasted time, not only can you take longer to do things but then you have to clean up mistakes made as well.
- Helps keep bad food choices at bay – Research shows after just 24 hours of sleep deprivation there is a 6% reduction in glucose reaching your brain. This is why you crave carbohydrate or sugar loaded snacks when you are sleep deprived. Your body is trying desperately to get glucose back to the brain. Staying up late at night will lead to poor for choices every time!
So do yourself a favor and stop putting off sleep until you die, or you might just find that day coming sooner then it should.