What Really Happens When You Sleep

We need sleep for many reasons, both mentally and physically. In addition to causing severe stress and other ailments, sleep deprivation doubles the risk of obesity! We might think that the less we sleep, the more calories we will burn and the more weight we will lose, but research shows quite the opposite. As a result of hormonal, appetite-stimulating changes, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.

Do you really know what goes on when you sleep—at least within your own body?

Growth hormone levels peak during sleep. Growth hormone helps muscles repair, heal and grow. If you are trying to build muscle, sleep is important! If you are sleep deprived, testosteone levels drop. Testosterone also helps with muscle growth and repair. Sleep deprivation may lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to overeating and heart issues. Aside from hampering our fitness and weightloss goals, there are many other reasons to get a good night's sleep!

The following list from Noran Sleep Center in Minneapolis details the dangers of inadequate sleep.

1. Contributes to cardiovascular problems

2. Contributes to neurological problems

3. Increase risk of stroke

4. Increases risk of anxiety and depression

5. Increases risk of obesity and diabetes

6. Increases irritability and unhappiness

7. Erodes work peformance

8. Strains personal relationships

9. Increases work-related accidents

10. Increases automobile accidents

11. Reduces libido

healthy sleep—six to eight hours a night— helps to achieve the following according to the Noran Sleep Center.

1. Strengthens the immune system

2. Heals and rejuvenates the body

3. Recharges the mind

4. Benefits physical activity

5. Improves learning and memory

6. Aids sociability

7. Fosters good emotional health and happiness

8. Improves job functioning

For additional tips on sleep and other health related habits, check out my book, College Basic Training. It's written for college kids, but everyone can benefit from it's valuable health and fitness tips! Here is my latest video: Local Author Preps Kids for College

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Disclaimer: This program is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. The information provided in this program is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietician or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.  Participation in this challenge does not constitute a client-coach relationship.