One of the most common conversations I have as a health coach goes like this.
“So tell me, how’s your sleep?”
“Oh you know, I try to get a good eight hours because I heard that it’s good for me but I get closer to five hours. Well sometimes four.”
“What is your biggest struggle about getting to bed?”
“I like to unwind. I might watch one show after dinner then I need to set up everything for tomorrow. I might get distracted on Facebook and sometimes I end up watching one or two shows on Netflix instead of just one. I don’t know, the time just gets away from me.”
Are you laughing right now or am I hitting too close to home? I don’t know how many times I have been on Instagram and seen a friend or client post a picture at one or two in the morning. Or better yet a friend arguing over something on Facebook at midnight and then being so worked up they couldn’t go to bed. I get it, I really do; I like to unwind after a long day too. I’m totally addicted to Once Upon A Time on Netflix and it’s tempting to watch a few episodes instead of just one.
However, your body needs sleep! It really needs more than four or five hours too. Let me explain…
You have two hormones called Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat, when you are sleep deprived you have more Ghrelin in your system. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived you have less Leptin in your system therefore, you gain weight when you are sleep deprived. Hence, the coffee and doughnut cravings you are getting at two in the afternoon.
Your Pituitary Gland also secretes more growth hormones while you sleep than while you are awake. These hormones are used for cell regeneration, reproduction, and growth. They are responsible for aiding in muscle growth which help with metabolism. That’s a big deal for people that want to lose weight.
How much sleep do you need? Most people need a good eight hours of sleep every night. Some people do better on more, a few do better on seven but most people do great on eight.
Here’s my challenge for you: Try to get more sleep this week. Get in bed by ten or ten thirty and take note of how you feel. Come back here and tell me about it.