SLEEP – The Essential Ingredient Of HEALTH
Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not just a passive rest. It is a complex phenomenon that involves the synchronized functioning of the physical and mental systems. Long enough and quality sleep is perhaps the most important part of a turbometabolism strategy. It affects appetite, food choices, metabolism, weight gain, memory, concentration, energy level and immunity.
If so, why is the dream first that we sacrifice whenever the opportunity arises, whether it be celebration and nightlife, or the time pressure of meeting deadlines? Today, effective work is often equated with “full-time work,” “work until morning,” and “workaholic.” In the first half of the 20th century, people on average slept about nine hours a day, and most still need seven to nine hours of sleep today.
How many hours of sleep are needed?
Each person has a unique need, and you cannot “learn” to function with less sleep than your ideal measure. It doesn’t matter what time you wake up, but how you feel when you wake up.
There is a dose-effect relationship between short sleep duration and metabolic syndrome. People who sleep less than five hours a day are 1.5 times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome. Short sleep is also directly linked to overweight, obesity and diabetes. This relationship is usually seen in people who work third shifts or otherwise shorten sleep, so they quickly become fat and become insulin resistant, sometimes even within just three days! You read that right, working night shifts can make you tired, exhausted, hungry and cause diabetes!
We know that lack of sleep increases ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases leptin, the satiety hormone, which signals to the body that it needs to be hungry and store energy in the form of fat. Sleep deprivation increases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone, sometimes by as much as 25 percent, thus boosting hunger and insulin resistance. It is an elegant way in which nature tries to protect us. Because sleep deprivation is a major stressor, the body responds by activating a survival mechanism, which involves increasing the appetite and craving for calorie-rich foods (fats, sugars) to maintain energy supply. In addition, lack of sleep reduces blood flow to the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain that helps us make rational decisions.
Sleep deprivation is also associated with impaired immunity as well as memory problems. Research has shown that reducing sleep from eight to seven hours triples the risk of colds.
Melatonin, the hormone produced by the pineal gland in response to darkness, is a normal sign that we should sleep. The more we are exposed to light from artificial sources in the evening, such as a TV, laptop screen, LED bulb or smartphone, the harder it is for the body to produce enough melatonin to put us to sleep. When melatonin levels are low, cortisol (stress hormone) levels are high, which also makes it difficult for us to fall asleep.
Serotonin, another hormone that calms us down and regulates sleep, is also sensitive to light and directly linked to melatonin. Melatonin is actually made from serotonin. When darkness falls slowly, the level of serotonin in the body rises and melatonin is secreted to start the natural sleep cycle. Serotonin deficiency due to excessive exposure to artificial light at night will affect the production of melatonin and you will not sleep well even if you fall asleep. Serotonin deficiency also causes depression!
Melatonin is a magic hormone. Not only does it regulate the natural pattern of sleep, it also reduces stress. It is also an antioxidant, which means that it slows down the aging process, lowers cholesterol and generally makes you feel better!
Use these tips to improve your sleep routine:
• Avoid alcohol, especially three to four hours before going to bed;
• Schedule fluid intake during the day so that you do not wake up at night;
• Dim the lights in the bedroom and limit the time spent in front of the electronic screen;
• Red is for sleeping. The red light bulbs look soothing;
• Avoid caffeinated drinks for six to eight hours before going to bed;
• Do not eat heavy meals or exercise for three to four hours at bedtime;
• Avoid strenuous exercise in the evening, but walking after dinner is beneficial;
• Physical factors, such as firm mattresses and pillows, are of great importance;
• Have a slightly lower temperature (about eighteen degrees) in the bedroom and complete darkness.
• Wear light nightwear where the body can breathe, and it is best if you can sleep naked;
• Massage and intimate touches work wonders; sex is the best tool for a good night’s sleep!