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A good night's sleep

This is something that I have written about in the past, but I feel the need to talk about how important a good night’s sleep is to our health and fitness. We are all generally so much busier nowadays, with ridiculous working hours and even having to continue work from home after hours in the office which all contribute to less hours spent sleeping. But just as exercise and good nutrition are essential to good health and happiness, so is sleep!

The quality of your sleep directly effects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s you heading for chronic sleep deprivation.

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can function on and the amount you need to function optimally. Just because you're able to get by on seven hours of sleep doesn't mean you wouldn't feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed.

If you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep per night then chances are you are sleep deprived and you probably don’t even know it and how much it is effecting you. While it may seem like losing sleep isn't such a big deal, sleep deprivation has a wide range of negative effects that go way beyond daytime drowsiness. Lack of sleep effects your judgment, coordination, and reaction times. In fact, sleep deprivation can affect you just as much as being drunk.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. It also helps to maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full. If you don’t get the required amount of sleep, your feel hungry hormones go up meaning you feel a lot hungrier, which can result in over eating and weight gain.

Sleep also effects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone which controls your blood sugar levels. A lack of sleep can result in higher than normal blood sugar levels leading to diabetes.

Regular exercise and having a good varied healthy diet will help towards a good full eight hours and more in the land of nod.

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