By now everyone knows the importance of sleep. I can link you to countless studies that prove over and over that deep REM sleep is beneficial in order for the body to recover. Even though we are well aware of the importance and the benefits of sleep, that does not necessarily mean we are obtaining the optimal sleep we need.
There are a few key factors that you should know about sleep. Some may be reminders you have heard before, in which case it never hurts to hear them again. Some things you may be hearing for the first time. Either way, no one can deny the importance of deep, uninterrupted sleep. As we get older, life happens, and often times that is accompanied by bad sleep patterns.
Several studies from the Mayo Clinic point out that nighttime sleep especially, is the sleep when hormone levels peak and that are most important for recovery. When the pattern of sleep is interrupted on a regular basis, they body cannot achieve this optimal level of hormone peaking. This causes the body to conserve energy in various ways to maintain basic bodily functions, and comes at the cost of other bodily functions. Specifically the body will focus it’s energy on the heart and lungs to keep the brain alive, then slow digestion and recovery, for example. The body will compensate by trying to get hormone production to peak at less than optimal times for recovery, such as during the day.
A side of effect of poor rest, caused by stress or any other numerous reasons, causes a spike in cortisol. When cortisol spikes, the body respond by increasing blood sugar. The side effects of this includes drowsiness, extra fat storage, bloated-ness, and much, much more. These side effects then in turn cause more stress which causes more cortisol in the body. The process continues to spiral out of control.
The key to overcoming this is better sleep.
There are thousands, if not more ways to increase the quality of one’s sleep. It is vital to one’s recover to get the most best sleep one can. This is doubly important when engaging in any type of training program.
I am not going to tell you how to get more or better sleep. I think that is relative as some younger readers do not know the stress that other older readers do and vice versa. All I want to stress (ironic) to you is the importance of sleep to your everyday well-being. And that you need to get more of it.
In reviewing sleep, we cannot ignore the value of napping.
If I may, may I suggest the 30 Day Nap Challenge?