The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

SLEEP we all take it for granted and try to push the envelope with how much sleep we can survive on. But do we want to just survive when there are so many health benefits of getting enough ZZZs.

Current research points to 3 pathways that link sleep restriction with diabetes risk and obesity:

  1. alterations in glucose metabolism
  2. increased of appetite
  3. decreased energy expenditure

Could putting off your sleep be the cause to those added kilos and that extra midnight snack!

The list doesn't stop there sleep deprivation also contributes to a higher risk of having a stroke, hypertension, higher levels of anxiety and depression, impaired cognition and disrupted circadian rhythm (your natural internal clock).

So what do we typically do when we're sleep deprived - we crave the "uppers" or things that stimulate us into life but only very briefly does that coffee or sugary donut have a lasting effect until you're reaching for another one. It's not sustainable and really start to appreciate the need for sleep.

So what can you do about it? Here's two simple tips to get you started:

  1. Don't ignore that sleepy feeling: when you start to feel drowsiness wave over you it's time to turn those gadgets off and head to bed. If you don't, you'll be waiting to about 1 or 2am for the next wave of sleep to come by - which leads you to toss and turn. By using this strategy, you can increase the sleep promoting neurotransmitter adenosine (blocked by caffeine) to allow for natural sleep onset and reduce the need for extra melatonin.

  2. Dim the lights: bright lights after sunset encourages your body to stay awake. Blue light, emitted by electronics and energy saving lights impacts your sleep more compared to warm lights. It's best to have a dimmed light and eliminate the use of electronics 1 hour before going to bed.

Source: Dr. Joseph Zelk, Medical Director for Sleep Medicine Group

Still having trouble getting to sleep? Then you need to try my Sleep Easy program. It will have you feeling like a new person.