Category Archives: Sleep

Want to Re-Create Your Life After Divorce? Get SLEEP!!

You may be trying to beat the clock, stay-up late, and be productive, but in the end, sleep deprivation will greatly undermine your progress.  Below are the top negative effects from the lack of adequate sleep – defined as at least 7 hours per night.    

  1. Impaired concentration and cognitive abilities.

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.  When you lack sleep, your concentration and decision-making skills diminish. On the flip-side, adequate sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory.

2. Lowered physical performance.

Studies have shown that poor sleep reduces fine motor skills, reaction time, problem solving skills, and muscular strength and endurance.

3. May weaken your heart.

Numerous studies suggest that lack of sleep and low-quality sleep may increase your risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.

4. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sleeping less hours per night is associated with a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance – which is when your body cannot use insulin properly.  In addition, lack of sleep causes behavioral changes, including poor decision making regarding what foods you are eating and how much – which also increases diabetes risk.

5. Higher depression, isolation and lower social interactions.

Mental health concerns, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality.  Sleep loss also reduces your ability to regulate emotions and interact socially. When we’re tired, we have a harder time controlling emotional outbursts and behavior in front of others. Tiredness may also affect our ability to respond to humor and show empathy.  In addition, people who are chronically sleep-deprived are more likely to withdraw from social events and experience loneliness.

6. Lowers immunity.

Lack of sleep has been shown to impair immune function.  In one study, participants who slept fewer than 5 hours per night were 4.5 times more likely to develop a cold compared than who slept more than 7 hours. Those who slept 5–6 hours were 4 times more likely.  Data also suggests that proper sleep may improve your body’s antibody responses to vaccines.

7. Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation.

Poor sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in the body.  Sleep loss is known to activate inflammatory signaling pathways and lead to higher levels of inflammation, which, over time can cause the development of many chronic conditions, including obesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.  

8. Lack of sleep can be dangerous.

Not getting enough sleep can be dangerous for yourself and others.  When we’re tired, our focus, reflexes, and reaction time decreases. In fact, being severely sleep-deprived is comparable to having consumed excess alcohol.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 people have fallen asleep while driving, and most of the time this is a result of sleeping less than 6 hours a night.  In addition to increased risks associated with driving, lack of sleep may also increase the risk of workplace injury and errors.

9. Weight gain and higher BMI.

Studies shows that a lack of sleep is associated with a greater risk of weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI). This is because sleep deprivation increases ghrelin – the hunger hormone and decreases leptin – the hormone that makes us feel full, therefore, we feel hungrier and overeat.  In addition, to compensate for less sleep and energy, your body craves foods that are higher in sugar and fat, due to their higher calorie content.  To make matters worse, when you are tired, you are less motivated to hit the gym, go for a walk, or do any physical activity.

The bottom line is that lack of sleep is associated with many negative health effects, including increased risk of heart disease, depression, weight gain, inflammation, and illness.  Though individual needs vary, most research suggests that you should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.

When you do get your adequate hours of sleep per night, your brain is more clear and you are focused and creative.  Therefore, start prioritizing and scheduling your sleep, and you’ll be amazed that you actually become more effective and productive! 

Less Sleep Leads to Weight Gain!

Studies show being sleep deprived leads to consuming an average of +285 additional calories per day!

When you’re sleep deprived, cortisol levels are high and serotonin levels are low. This makes you crave starchy, sugary and fatty foods to help boost serotonin and calm you. At the same time, lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and suppresses the satiety hormone, leptin, which signals when we’ve eaten enough.

6 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Stick to a schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day creates a rhythm that your body will naturally try to maintain.
  2. Create a night-time routine. Doing the same tasks each night signals to your body to slow-down, sleep is coming soon.
  3. No big meals before bed. Stopping eating 3 hours before bed gives your digestive system enough time to complete its cycle, so the digestive process does not continue after bedtime, disrupting your sleep.
  4. Morning exercise. Exercise releases stress, making you fall asleep faster. It also produces growth hormones, which help your body to repair and revitalize itself. Best to exercise early in the day, however, because if you are exercising too close to bedtime, the adrenaline may prevent you from falling asleep easily.
  5. No late night drinks. Alcohol actually prevents you from getting your much-needed deep sleep. It also dehydrates you and can wake you up during the night.
  6. Go outside each day. A little Vitamin D every morning regulates your body’s production of melatonin and lifts your spirits. Dr. Michael Breus, PHD, advises getting outside for at least 15 minutes every morning.

TRYING TO GET YOUR “TO DO” LIST DONE – DON’T STAY UP LATE!

Although we’ve all heard that adults should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, us “super-moms” rationalize that less sleeping hours simply equals being more productive. 

I get it – you rush home from work and frantically get dinner on the table.  After clearing the dishes you face that “To Do” list (review homework, clean-out dishwasher from yesterday, laundry and tomorrow’s outfits, take-out recycling / trash, go through mail, pay bills, etc!).

But, first you open your laptop, to either finish “9 to 5” stuff, or work on that side-hustle, and you realize how tired you are….but, your plan is to push through and work a few hours…because you’ll be fine with only 4 to 5 hours of sleep, right?  WRONG!

When you are sleep deprived you are far from functioning at your best.  Your focus, memory, and creativity are diminished, and you are more easily stressed and angered.  You’ll likely also feel warn-out physically, waking-up with aching muscles and back pain, as you’re not giving your body enough time to heal sore muscles and repair worn-out tissue, which takes place during sleep.     

And, ladies, if this isn’t enough already to convince you to get your ZZZZ’s, consider this – sleep loss has a significantly negative impact on metabolism.  In layman’s terms, your body doesn’t properly react to insulin (sugar/ calories) and has trouble processing fats from your bloodstream.  As a result, you end up storing fat, a contributing cause of weight-gain! 

As you can see, denying yourself sleep isn’t getting you closer to successfully completing your “To Do” list or goals.  As you are busy throughout your day, get your rest to be properly prepared with the focus, creativity and energy to take it on!

#productivity #requiredsleep #workingmoms #divorce #divorcehealing #divorcerecovery #sidehustle #stayinguplate #soccermoms #gettingitalldone

(sources:  AcademySuccess.com, International Journal of Endocrinology)