Our body tells us that it's hungry and we eat. However, we are less likely to listen to our body when it's craving rest. Studies suggest that nearly 40% of Americans are moderately to severely sleep-deprived. Yikes. Sure our physical abilities weaken, we become noticeably sluggish, or even cranky during these times, but those are just symptoms. What else are we shortchanging when we shortchange on shut-eye? A lot, including weight loss efforts.
Now, I understand that many don't have lifestyles that accommodate to lengthy down periods. I also realize that there are many who suffer from sleep afflictions. And by no means is this an indictment on your situation. I experience a temporary medicinal-fueled form of insomnia with an MS therapy I undergo a few times a year and it sucks! But, I'm talking about when I have the natural ability to sleep and don't - along with others. Be it a television show, a blog post we just had to get off of our chest or whatever - trading in sleep for non-essential activities, can contribute to weight gain and unwanted weight maintenance. As trainer and nutrition guru, Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness explains:
"We need to wake up (after a good night’s sleep, of course) and get back in tune with nature in more ways that just eating whole foods and moving our bodies."
I only recently re-discovered the wonderfulness of sleep. Ages 18 up until I hit 25, with school, work and other responsibilities - I ran on fumes and youth, lol? Rounding out 2010, when my lack of rest was proving to be destructive - I began striving for at least 7 hours and then 8 hours. Well, I'm happy to report that I'm there! And if I get a minute less, I can feel it, chile.
With my strenuous training regimen, I look at sleep now as a time for my body to not only relax, but to literally heal from all of the abuse I put it through - that day. Our body is a wonderful self-restorative and repairing machine. And grouped with the right nutrients, cleansing components of water and regular activity - getting adequate Zzzzzs will prove to be highly beneficial to our health objectives.
P.S. Does anybody remember that '01 Luda song he did with Three 6 Mafia, Go to Sleep? Explicit link, don't click on it you like puppies, or Jesus.
P.S.S. Oh, and if you ever need help falling asleep, might I suggest listening to the comatose-inducing sounds of Sade? She has to have some the most well-rested fans on this Earth! Word to Erika and Niki.