Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fit Tip Tuesday - Sleep

If you want to lose weight, make sure you get enough sleep!

Too many people take sleep for granted.  Sleep deprivation causes stress, obesity, heart disease, decreased mental and athletic performance and many other conditions.

Inadequate sleep:
  • interferes with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
  • drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
  • reduces levels of growth hormone--a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle.
  • can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
  • can increase blood pressure
  • can increase the risk of heart disease
Even in young, healthy people, a sleep deficit of three to four hours a night over the course of a week has a triple-whammy effect on the body.

While you sleep, your body produces leptin - a hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and expenditure, including appetite/hunger, metabolism, as well as behavior.

Deep sleep is also when the body produces HGH (human growth hormone).  HGH helps your body grow new muscle cells, gives you energy, youthful skin and hair, and forces your body to draw energy from your fat reserves first!

So sleep is really important if you want a healthy, happy body!  Aim for 7-8 hours per night.

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