SLEEP: What it does to you and your body

garfield_sleepy

SLEEP— I define this as one of the most basic needs of man. It plays a major role in our life as it is one of the ingredients to living a normal and healthy life.  But unfortunately, in this fast-paced world, sleep deprivation is now a common feature of our society. Perhaps, as much as we want to have more of it, we  tend to trade sleep for the things that we need to accomplish throughout the day. As a result, people living in this modern world grows to be a sleep-deprived generation.

HOW IMPORTANT SLEEP IS?

images

You and I both know that sleep is IMPORTANT. However, you and I always have an excuse why we are not having much of it. Busy work schedule, laundry to do, family affairs, parties to go to, school work, and the list goes on forever. I know, because I do these excuses too.

So, how important is it really?

According to Science:  During sleep, your body recovers from your days work and stress that you experienced throughout the day. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels as well as it works to support your brain function. When you sleep, your brain stays active, and to prove this, studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. When we are sleep deficient, it alters some parts of the brain which affects our emotions and behavior and most especially our physical health.

According to me: Its simple, when you don’t have enough sleep you can’t function effectively. In my experience, when i’m sleep deprived, the things that I want to get done ends up half baked. Thing is, I trade sleep  so I can do more, but by not sleeping,  I always end up wasting my time by being unproductive throughout the day.  Its either I find myself napping on my desk, or wasting a few minutes staring from afar. hahahaha! Its embarassing, but it happens to me all the time.

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU REALLY NEED? 

Sleeping

Average Sleep Needs by Age
Newborn to 2 months old 12 – 18 hrs
3 months to 1 year old 14 – 15 hrs
1 to 3 years old 12 – 14 hrs
3 to 5 years old 11 – 13 hrs
5 to 12 years old 10 – 11 hrs
12 to 18 years old 8.5 – 10 hrs
Adults (18+) 7.5 – 9 hrs

To be able to meet the demands of our everyday life, most adults these days are only having around 5-6 hours of sleep.  And to be able to compensate with our body’s need, we try to fill in the gap through daytime naps.

Now Here’s the thing, this table above shows that an adult (ages 18+) needs AT LEAST 7.5 hours of sleep a day.  Majority of adults these days think that 6hrs of sleep is good already. Thinking that they could function well with just this amount of sleep. Well, you better think again.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco discovered that some people have a gene that enables them to do well on six hours of sleep a night. This gene, however, is VERY RAREappearing in less than 3% of the population. For the other 97% of us, six hours doesn’t come close to cutting it.

SO… I guess its safe to say that.. 6 hours of sleep is enough = MYTH. If you’re an adult sleeping less than 7 1/2 hours a day, chances are, you are sleep deprived.

 Thing is, our body needs a specific amount of sleep and there is a big difference between functioning effectively and having  just enough energy to get by throughout the day.  Just try to evaluate, if you are meeting your sleep needs you are supposed to feel energetic and alert all day long. If not, well, you might not be logging enough hours.

WHAT IS SLEEP DEBT?

images (3)

So.. if you’re not keeping up with the hours that you’re supposed to be sleeping, the hours that you lack becomes a sleep debt. Meaning to say, everytime you trade sleep for something that you think is of “more importance” you add to the debt, and the same with all debts, it needs to be paid.

Many of us try to repay by sleeping on the weekends. But sadly, compensating with our sleep debts doesn’t work that way. Even if you sleep the whole weekend, your body will not completely make up for the lack of sleep.

images (2)

What happens if you are having a lot of sleep debts?

1. It makes you dumb. 

images (4)

Sleeping plays an important role in our brain development. (And yes, it goes with adults too. Not just infants ) Sleep helps our brain in processing learning and critical thinking. Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. So if you’re not having enough sleep, you are least likely to remember the things that you learned throughout the day.

2. No sleep= Overweight. Yes. You’re gaining weight because you’re not logging enough sleeping hours my friend.  According to a study, adults who are only sleeping for 5 hours a night are likely to gain 2lbs in weight over a week because they tend to snack more. According to this study,  “They consumed more calories in the form of after-dinner snacks than in any other meal.”

heavy_sleep_197965

According to my internet research..

A regular sleep schedule helps your body maintain a regular appetite and hunger schedule. This is because shortening your sleep schedule increases your production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger and decreases your production of leptin which suppresses appetite. Throwing off your appetite increases the likelihood that you will overeat, study has shown people who sleep less than 7 hours a day are likely to be more obese than those who sleep 8 hours of sleep or more.

As to what I have experienced, the hours that I have invested in the gym has been put to a waste because my muscles did not recover properly. So even if I don’t snack after workout, it still made a negative effect on my body.

3. It causes accidents. 

skateboard 2

Its obvious, poor sleep would eventually lead to accidents.  People who sleep less looses their concentration and leads to serious mistakes (especially for those who are driving) because their reaction time is slower. So if you don’t want to get into a car accident, hit the hay.

4.  Damaged skin.

images

 Ladies, we all know this, the secret to beauty is a good night’s sleep. You can’t keep those dark circles under your make up forever. 🙂

How do you avoid it?

1. Make sleep your priority.

images (1)

 I know, I know, you have a lot of commitments. But you should make this a priority. Adjust your schedule so you can have enough time for sleep. Check your day to day activity, maybe you are committing to a lot of things and maybe you can cut back a few from it just so you can have more time for your sleep. We have 24 hours a day, no matter how busy you are, believe me, you can make time for it.

2. Set a regular bedtime and regular waking time.  If you are having trouble sleeping at night, you can discipline your body by setting a regular bedtime . This way, your body will always have this pattern which will help you in having the right sleeping hours.

3. Limit your naps. We try to compensate by napping but sometimes, it doesn’t help.  A power-nap can make you more alert and productive but only if you do it correctly. I’ve heard in a TV interview before that the most effective power nap should only be for 20 minutes. If you go higher than that, you are likely to feel more tired and unproductive.

4. Be smart about what you eat or drink. 

coffee_love_milk_by_toreti

If you want a good night sleep, watch what you eat and drink before going to bed. To some people, coffee has been part of their everyday life that its difficult for them to avoid it. You can limit your coffee to 2 cups a day and exchange your coffe at night with milk or green tea. Also, have your meal 2-3 hours before bedtime, Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up, this way you will have a better sleep and you won’t store up fats too! 🙂

5. No gadgets before bedtime. Try to put away all your gadgets before bedtime.  or better yet, stay away from facebook, twitter, or instagram hahahaha! 

6. Schedule your workout. As for me, I usually workout at night after work. Sleeping normally becomes a problem because my body stays active a few hours after I did my workout. So make sure that you finish your workout routine at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Thing is, no matter how important your day to day activities are, sleeping should be on top of your to-do list.

I hope this post helps! 🙂

Stay Happy and Healthy everyone!

God bless! 🙂

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” ~3 John 2

On a fruit diet?

Zd7wHu6dg9Various-Fruits-Piled-up-Green-Leaves-on-the-Top-List-Impressive-for-Its-Color-Combination-HD-Creative-Wallpaper

FRUITS. Known to be rich in fiber, and an excellent source of energy and nutrition. It keeps the body hydrated and of course, as we all know most fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories making them ideal for use in weight loss.

So here are my TOP 5 Healthy and Ideal Fruits to Eat for Weight Loss.

1. Raspberries

fruits-salad

Raspberries are at the top of the list of high fiber fruits. Not only that they are colorful and fun to eat, but berries are loaded with vitamin C and fiber, and they are also one of the fruits with the lowest sugar content.  They are also low in calories:  1 cup of strawberries has only 50 calories; 1 cup of blueberries has 80 calories; 1 cup of raspberries has 65 calories; and 1 cup of blackberries has only 60 calories.  Craving for something sweet? Why not try berries instead? 🙂

2. Oranges

???? Vol.22 ???????????

Of course its famous for its vitamin C qualities, which helps to prevent you from having illness plus it makes your skin glow and maintains the beauty of your hair. But another amazing quality of this citrus fruit is that its caloric value is small. One large orange  provides 86 calories which makes it ideal for snacks. Also, its size lets us forget about hunger for some time during the diet.

 3. Bananas

banana-250x250

Known to be an energy fruit. A glass of water plus this fruit is the perfect combination to give you that extra energy in working out. Bananas are best known for containing large amounts of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6 and are surprisingly low in calories. The average large ripe banana, which ranges from 7 to 8 inches long, contains only 105 calories.

4. Apples

24804492_JxArKxyz_c

They say that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples are definitely one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.  A medium apple has less than 100 calories, while a small apple  contains 55 cal, more than 4 grams of fiber, and a good dose of vitamin C. The vitamins and minerals especially the fiber which this fruit contains helps you feel full longer as it expands in your stomach, so it takes less food to satisfy your hunger.

5. Grapes

24804492_JxArKxyz_csda

For me, this is the best snack fruit. First, because they are bite size and it makes it easy to control portion sizes. Second, they’re sweet and you can eat as much as you can without the feeling of being guilty after. Thirty-two (32) seedless grapes are considered equal to one cup of fruit which contains only 110 calories. Another thing about it is that its a natural diuretic and laxative which helps eliminate waste and water weight.

The truth about it.

brainfood1

Adding fruits to your diet is essential for good health and of course, to help us lose weight. Fruits are sweet, which can be a replacement for unhealthy sweet snacks that we usually have. They are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber which are the 3 most important ingredients for weight loss. Not only that it helps in shedding pounds, but it also helps in making us look young and feel great because it contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Thing is, fruits actually weigh a lot, but they don’t have as much as many calories compared to other foods. Example, Calories in 100g of Cadbury’s chocolate milk =520 calories. While 100g of the following contains.. berries= 27.6 cal, Oranges= 62.1 cal, Banana=95 cal, and Grapes=61.5 cal.

07c9c4934dcf863d4f331e5c6e2e-400x349

So get my point? Same amount but wayyyyy lesser in calories. You will feel just as full as you’ve eaten the same amount of food but you’ve saved a lot of calories. I wouldn’t recommend having an all fruit diet because the goal here is to always have a balanced meal. But I would suggest EXCHANGING your bad food habits into healthy ones.  So instead of grabbing a chocolate bar, cookies, or donuts, why not eat fruits instead? 🙂

LIV_01.02_Diet2013_Slide5_636x424

I hope this post helps.

Stay Healthy and Pretty girls! ❤ God bless everyone! 🙂

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.- 3 John 1:2