What’s Sleep got to do with it?

Yesterday, our family was having a conversation about sleep.  Our 16 year old son, figured that there’s no difference between going to bed at 10pm and getting up at 6am or going to bed at 1 or 2 am and sleeping in until 10 or 11am, in fact if you calculate the number of hours you’d be in bed sleeping you’d actually get more following his weekend preference!  He also figured that my comment of ‘you get better sleep before midnight’ must be one of those ‘mother myths’!

Hmmm… what could I say? Good thing I had my iPhone & I could ‘google’ for some answers immediately!

Thanks to the internet I have found more than enough information to pass along!  Dave keeps reminding me that blogs are not research papers or long articles.  So today I’ll try to give you nuggets instead!

  • People cannot long survive without air, water, and sleep. –Thomas Szasz, M.D.
  • Sleep (or lack thereof) can affect your mood, your mental alertness, your work performance and your energy level.  Even your relationships with others are affected
  • If you deprive yourself of sleep you are harming your health and you’ll pay for it in the long run.
  • Sleep will help with fat loss
  • Sleeping doesn’t have any calories!!
  • Two main hormones responsible for appetite and feeling full: Ghrelin & Leptin.  When sleep is restricted ghrelin levels go up and leptin levels go down increasing your appetite for high calorie, dense foods leading to increased belly fat.
  • Top two rules for waking up refreshed: get enough hours of sleep for your unique body (7-9 hrs) and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Generally, the more sleep you receive before midnight, the better you’ll feel in the morning.  The Centre for Integrated Healing says, “From a complementary medicine perspective, an hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep after midnight, because sleep before midnight optimizes melatonin production.”
  • Here are twelve secrets for getting more good-quality, restful sleep.
  • Relying on coffee or energy drinks to help keep you awake or give you energy will eventually overstimulate your endocrine glands
  • Sleep is critical in balancing out your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.  Cortisol causes you to store fat & burn muscle – the exact opposite of what you want.
  •  A test study was done with 15 people following a very strict diet and a specific nightly sleep requirement. One group slept 51/2 -6 hrs a night and the second group slept 81/2-9 hours a night.  Their results?  Both groups had similar weight loss however when they compared body composition analysis the group receiving less sleep had lost more lean muscle compared to the group who slept longer who lost a greater amount of fat.

One final thing!  In answer to my son’s comments I went to Wikipedia & found the following graph & information.  It is an overview of the biological circadian clock in humans.  Perhaps my comments were not a ‘mother’s myth’ after all!

🙂 Christine

PS Make an investment into your health – get your sleep!