How often do you hear someone say, “I had a great night’s sleep last night!” or “I feel refreshed and energetic!”? Probably not very often. Feeling sluggish seems to be the new normal. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, it is the new normal: Dover Personal Trainers most Americans are sleep-deprived. But not getting enough sleep may be causing more trouble for you than just that pesky drowsy feeling: it could be seriously harming your health.
Why aren’t we sleeping?
Centuries ago, it was common for people to sleep 8 to 9 hours each day. Dover Personal Trainers But now, only about 25% of Americans get 8 or more hours of sleep. The reasons we are not sleeping are Dover Personal Trainers many. We live in a 24/7 society—practically Dover Personal Trainers anything we want to do is available around the clock, from fitness centers to pharmacies to department stores.
We are working long hours, transporting our kids to activities, Dover Personal Trainers trying to make time for friends and fitness and Dover Personal Trainers entertainment. When the heat is Dover Personal Trainers on, the first thing to go is usually sleep. And it’s usually Dover Personal Trainers not even a conscious decision to skimp on sleep-we just get in bed a little later most nights, because we are so pressed and pushed.
But even when we get into bed, we aren’t guaranteed sleep. The National Sleep Foundation Dover Personal Trainers reports that 60% of Americans have sleep problems. That means more than half of us struggle to sleep Dover Personal Trainers . And it is taking its toll.
Dangers of sleep deprivation
“The foundations of good Dover Personal Trainers health are good diet, good exercise and good sleep, but two out of three doesn’t get you there,”1
— Dr. Anne Calhoun, neurology professor,University of North Carolina.
Eating healthily Dover Personal Trainers and getting plenty of exercise Dover Personal Trainers are not enough to make up for the danger that sleep deprivation poses to your health. Adults need around 8 hours of sleep each night, although some studies indicate that as little as 7 and Dover Personal Trainers one-half hours can be sufficient. Getting less than that can have Dover Personal Trainers serious consequences:
Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: If you get Dover Personal Trainers less than 6 hours of sleep each Dover Personal Trainers night and have disturbed sleep, you have a 48% greater risk of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from a stroke.2 Dover Personal Trainers Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, blocked Dover Personal Trainers arteries, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.
Obesity: Sleep shortage is directly linked to obesity. When you don’t Dover Personal Trainers get enough sleep, two powerful hormones that control hunger are disrupted. The result is that you feel hungrier and have fewer sensations Dover Personal Trainers of feeling “full.”
But without enough sleep you will also Dover Personal Trainers feel more stressed, Dover Personal Trainers which encourages t Dover Personal Trainers he production of the hormone cortisol in your Dover Personal Trainers body. This hormone causes you to crave high-carbohydrate Dover Personal Trainers foods such as potato chips and brownies, and then deposits those carbs as fat around your belly—the most dangerous place to store fat.
Pre-diabetes is also a risk for those who don’t get enough Dover Personal Trainers sleep. Trying to get by on less than 6 hours of sleep per night can cause impaired glucose tolerance.
Compromised immune system: Why is it that two people can be exposed to Dover Personal Trainers the same germs, but only one of them gets sick? The reason is the immune system. If your immune system is Dover Personal Trainers functioning well, you can ward off many illnesses. But if something happens to compromise your immune response, you will be vulnerable to infections, bacteria, viruses, and even some autoimmune Dover Personal Trainers diseases such as arthritis and asthma.
When you do not get enough sleep, your immune system Dover Personal Trainers becomes stressed and compromised. You actually have a decrease in white blood cells, and those that remain are less active. The result is that you will get sick more often.
Impaired exercise performance: As if the threat of heart disease, obesity Dover Personal Trainers and immune suppression weren’t enough, lack of sleep can negatively impact your fitness efforts. It’s not uncommon for Dover Personal Trainers people to struggle to maintain their normal level of workout intensity when they are sleep deprived. You just won’t have the energy to push through. Also, your muscles repair and rebuild while you sleep: if you Dover Personal Trainers don’t allow your body this recovery time, you will be at a significant disadvantage during your next workout.
Make time for sleep
The truth is, if you don’t make time now for adequate sleep, you will Dover Personal Trainers likely be forced in the future to make time for illness. It may take significant effort to arrange your schedule and priorities to carve Dover Personal Trainers out time for more sleep, but the payoff will be increased health, energy and productivity!
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