Even people who prioritize working out and eating clean can be harming their health and hurting their results by skimping on sleep.
Sleeping more (increased sleep quantity) and sleeping better (increased sleep quality) can pay dividends in big ways, such as improving memory, weight maintenance, and mood.
In this article, you will learn:
- How better sleep can improve your memory
- How sleeping more can help you lose weight
- Why poor sleep makes us moody
1. How Sleeping Improves Memory
Recent discoveries have revealed that sleep plays a role in regulating hormones, clearing waste from between brain cells and helps us organize the information we learned during the day into useful memories.
The link between sleep and memory has been extensively studied, and scientists believe that adequate sleep is key to learning because memories are consolidated during sleep.
For example, though you are not physically practicing how to ride a bike (or swing a golf club, or learn a new dance move, speak a new language, etc.) while sleeping, you are helping with memory consolidation. When you are asleep, you are "practicing" these skills on a deep brain level and your performance in these skills will be improved after quality sleep.
2. Sleep Quality and Weight Management
Poor sleep is one of the single biggest predictors of ill health, and weight gain, in particular, seems to be strongly linked to sleep loss.
Our bodies create hunger-regulating hormones during sleep, and a lack of sleep often produces an excess of the hormone ghrelin. When our hunger hormones are disrupted, we’re more likely to turn to quick sources of energy in an effort to “make up” for missed sleep.
What’s more, even one night of four or fewer hours of sleep can cause insulin resistance. So, by missing sleep, you simultaneously create a desire to eat more carbohydrate-dense foods and a decreased ability to manage that carbohydrate load. If sleep deprivation is a regular part of your life, you can see how this cycle can quickly get out of hand and lead to weight gain.
Focusing on adequate sleep—7-9 hours consistently—is important for general health and weight loss goals alike.
3. Sleep and Your Mood
Sleep-deprived new parents will tell you just how important adequate rest is to overall well-being and mood. If you’re constantly waking up on the wrong side of the bed, you might be spending too little time there in the first place.
Research indicates that sleep deprivation downregulates dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with positive moods and a key player in conditions like anxiety and depression. Even if you don’t suffer from a diagnosed mood disorder, keeping your dopamine levels in check by getting adequate sleep is a worthwhile goal.
Stress jeopardizes our overall health, creates irritability and leaves us emotionally fragile. Ever felt that you’re stretched thin by lack of sleep and reacted poorly to the most common situation? Avoid that situation and increase your resilience by putting sleep at the top of your To-Do list.
Get Your Best Sleep Tonight
Busy schedules, work commitments, and social functions make sleep seem pretty un-sexy. But if you’re struggling with memory, weight management or mood, we suggest you consider its benefits. Shooting for another hour of sleep each night is an easy and cheap way to improve your life.
Trouble sleeping? Try a mug of our Organic Bone Broth Protein before bed! Containing the sleep-supporting amino acid, glycine, bone broth will help you get the quality sleep you're craving.
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