Knowing how things work and the impacts they have in our body help us live a better life and achieve our goals in a simple way.
Nowadays sleep is one of our least priorities, if we want to lose weight we focus on diet and exercise and even when we know sleep is important we don´t give it the attention it deserves. Just one night of poor sleep will have negative consequences on your day and if this become chronic it can cause negative health problems.
Here we´ll talk about 5 hormones that are affected with just one night of poor sleep, this hormones are: cortisol, growth hormone, insulin, leptin and ghrelin.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, every time we are under stress our body releases cortisol to deal with that situation, our body needs more energy so it shuts down non essential functions for that period of time and glucose increases because it´s the preferred form of energy. Lack of sleep puts stress to our body so if we didn´t get enough good sleep cortisol will be high.
Growth hormone is the one that keeps us lean, it helps our cells use stored fat for energy and also repair and build muscle. Our body produce this hormone during sleep we need to get through all the phases of sleep for this hormone to get high. Lack of sleep keeps this hormone low making it easier for our body to store fat and even lose muscle tissue.
Insulin is known as the fat storage hormone, it takes insulin to the cells so it can be use as energy and it is triggered by carbohydrates, the higher insulin is the more fat we store and it´s also dangerous. Lack of sleep makes our body insulin resistant meaning that our body is not efficient using carbohydrates, our body needs to produce more insulin to get the same job done.
Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite and it tells us when to stop eating by sending signals to our brain that we are full and that we have plenty of energy. Lack of sleep lowers leptin in our body so it can´t send signals to our brain that we are full so we keep eating.
Ghrelin also sends signals to our brain and tells us when we need to eat. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin so ywe are hungry all day. This is why our craving for sweets and unhealthy foods increases.
During sleep our brain is recharging so that we can learn, understand and memorize things with ease, lack of sleep affects our cognitive skills making it harder for us to retain new information, to react fast and make good decisions. Our attention and alertness lowers and we won´t be as creative as we can be.
Lack of sleep sends the wrong signals and trigger this hormones in the wrong way affecting not only our fitness goals but our health in general. One night of poor sleep will affect our day and we´ll see it in the short run symptoms like feeling tired, sleepy, lack of energy, hard to focus, cravings increase specially for sweets, being in a bad mood.
Chronic sleep problems can cause many physical and health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety. It also make our hormones go out of balance the internal clock of your body go nuts.
Changing habits is key for good quality sleep every night, some of the causes of bad sleep are chronic stress and blue light, if we are stressed our body won´t relax and our mind won´t stop making it almost impossible to fall asleep and get the adequate rest. Blue light is present in almost all screens of technology devices like computers, lap tops, cell phones, tv. Avoiding the use of this electronics before you go to bed help you sleep better and faster, meditation helps you relax and calm and release tension from your body and muscles.
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