With the hustle and bustle of everyday life we all, at one point, forget the importance of getting a good night sleep. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation go far beyond simply feeling a little lack-luster. Sleep can determine your mood, energy levels and even the food that you crave. So, why not dream your way to a fitter, healthier body?
Hitting the hay an hour earlier will help you:
Finally Achieve Your Dream Body
When you’re trying to sculpt your body and tone up, the quality of your sleep is often that last thing on your mind. With many of us surviving on less than five hours of sleep a night, we are acting as our own worst enemy, sabotaging our dream body goals.
When you deprive yourself of rest, your mood drops, when this happens your brains reward centres kick into gear, looking to satisfy your mood drop. It is one thing turning down a cookie when you’re well rested and full of energy, but when you’re over-tired you are far more likely to delve into the cookie jar in order to satisfy your cravings. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition uncovered that people who were starved of sleep were far more prone to snacking, choosing sugary, processed snacks. A second study also showed that those who do not get adequate sleep ate bigger portions in an attempt to give themselves energy. These little snacks, whilst appearing insignificant in the grand scheme of things will actually sabotage your exercise efforts. Speaking of snacks, leptin and ghrelin are the two hormones that regulate appetite. Ghrelin, signals to your brain when it’s time to eat. Leptin, on the other hand, is secreted by fat tissue and has the reverse effect, signaling when you are full.
Chronic lack of sleep increases ghrelin, making you feel more hungry than you actually are, and decreases leptin.
Finally Get that Promotion You Deserve
If you’re sat at your desk bleary-eyed, half nodding off and half paying attention, then it’s no surprise your name isn’t at the top of the promotion list. When your body is sleep deprived, not only are your reactions slower, your focus is diminished as well as your creativity, and decision-making capacity. So hop into bed an hour earlier tonight, you never know, your improved concentration and focus may impress your boss enough to give you that all important promotion you’ve been waiting for!
Improve your relationships
Whether it’s a romantic relationship or your relationships with your friends, getting enough rest is proven to improve your social life. We all snap every once in a while, and usually, it’s after a long day at the office or after a hectic and tiring week. It’s simple, increasing the amount you sleep you get each night, will help you improve your relationships. People who sleep badly, on average, display more negative emotions, making it harder to resolve conflicts. Now, we understand that a couple of tiffs in any relationship is normal, however, it has been discovered that sleep can accentuate disagreements, putting stress on relationships. Studies suggest that how close you feel to your partner, how secure you feel in your relationship, and your level of happiness and satisfaction are all closely tied to the level of sleep you get. Evidence shows, for example, that couples who are well rested tend to be happier. So, not only will getting an extra couple of hours of sleep lead to fewer arguments, it also may improve things in the bedroom! Having decreased sex drive is related to sleep deprivation too did you know? Countless studies have discovered that men with a higher level of sleep deprivation have a lower level of testosterone, which reduces libido. Women’s sex drive are equally affected, with studies showing that women who get fewer hours of sleep also have a lower libido. The repercussions are endless really… Trying for a baby? Decreased libido isn’t going to help! Lack of sleep has a surpassing knock-on effect through-out your life.
Although the odd bad nights sleep isn’t a big deal, we don’t often think about how prolonged lack of sleep affects us in the long term. Many people view sleep as a luxury, as opposed to a necessity. People often overlook the potential long-term health consequences of insufficient sleep, and the impact those health problems can have on our longevity. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, you can count on an impaired immune system which can lead to more sick days off work. Studies have shown that people who averaged less than seven hours of sleep a night are three times more likely to develop cold-like symptoms. Research has also shown that reduced sleep has been linked to higher chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.
The quality of sleep you get is vital if you want to be happy and healthy. We are particularly excited about the new Under Armour Health Box which launches in the UK this summer! One of its key components is tracking your sleep pattern; incredibly useful when it comes to understanding your own sleep habits and how changes in your routine can effect your sleep.
If you’re one of those people who struggle to drift off at night, have a read of our top tips to unwind and sail away into a deep sleep.
- Ditch the technology late at night- If the last thing you do at night is check your emails or instagram (we are culprits too!) then stop! Checking your phone or watching TV late at night will stimulate your brain, preventing you from drifting off. We recommend going digital free at least one hour before you plan on switching off the lights.
- Get your trainers on! We’ve all been told countless times that if we want increased energy, we should exercise more often. So you may be wondering why we’re recommending you to exercise to improve your sleep! While you might initially feel a rise in your energy levels after exercising, you have to remember you are physically excerting your body, which will naturally make you feel more tire, giving you a better nights sleep.
- Have a cuppa’- Brew yourself a cup of herbal tea, our favourite is Pukka’s night time tea! This tea is filled with amazing herbs to help promote calmness and relaxation within the body.
- Try a supplement – We particularly love Bodyism’s Clean & Lean Serenity; a delicious, cacao infused powder that you can mix in to a warm mug of almond or coconut milk to help you relax and drift off to sleep. Want to give it a try? With all orders from our activewear store this July, receive free samples of five of Clean & Lean’s super supplements which include Serenity! Shop here to receive your samples!