Importance of sleep: effects on recovery and health.

So you’re exercising and eating properly, but you’re still not seeing the result? Let’s look at one more important habit which contributes to good health: today we will talk about sleep.

Imagine someone who comes back home, prepare themselves to go to bed, and finally put themselves to sleep. They’re tired, so they fall into a deep sleep. But, after some time (let’s say after 4-6 hours), they hear the loud ringing of the alarm clock. At this point, people are divided into two types: those who get out of bed immediately, and those who snooze the alarm for another 5/10/15 minutes.

Do you recognize yourself going through this pattern? It’s no good. Let’s get it right.

Sleep is a natural process of the body, when you’re sleeping your brain activity decreases and you being to produce hormones. This contributes to a healthy and fulfilling life. That is why it is important to keep this process flowing regularly.

Lack of sleep affects the immune system. Disruptions in the sleep pattern make it hard for your system to recover, so it becomes debilitated. We are vulnerable to infections because the nervous system does not give signals to the rest of the body to combat bacilli.

The way your nervous system works directly depends on how you take care of your sleep patterns. If you look at what the cerebral cortex consists of, then you will see a huge number of neurons and nerve fibers that connect together and sometimes change these connections. The brain works even while we sleep, but in an “energy saving” mode as all processes are slowed down. Trapped in our body, including the brain, toxic substances are neutralized at night during sleep. If we do not give sufficient rest time to our brain, then the nerve cells get excited and work beyond the norm, the mood becomes anxious, aggressive, depressed, etc. The brain becomes incapable of labor activity, performance decreases. With a constant lack of sleep, no energy drinks or food will help restore strength – they will not slow down the activity of the nerve signals, they will not free the brain from toxic substances, they will only temporarily revive them.

People who lack sleep expose themselves to weight gain and even type 2 diabetes. This is because if the brain and nerve cells begin get overworked, then most of the energy received from food goes there and metabolism as a whole slows down. The body tries to store the obtained calories somewhere else (in subcutaneous fat) in order to survive, and if needed it takes energy from there. When we dream, we produce many hormones that are important to us.

Firstly, we produce melatonin, which normalizes the hormonal background in general and blood pressure, and also supports the immune system.

Secondly, we produce male and female sex hormones.

Thirdly, we produce leptin (to inhibit hunger), and ghrelin (to stimulate appetite).

The less sleep you get, the less leptin you produce but the more ghrelin you produce. However, if you get enough sleep, then the opposite is true. So, make sure you get enough sleep! The production of important hormones usually occurs between 11 pm and 2 am.

The connection between a normal sleep pattern and physical exercise is simple: if you sleep enough, you are full of strength and energy, so you’re ready and willing to train; if you haven’t slept enough though, you’re in a bad mood and you have no strength, energy or desire to do anything, so you end up skipping workout.

If you go a little deeper, it is worth noting that the restoration and growth of muscle fibers occurs precisely in a dream, when certain hormones are again produced in our body. Melatonin and somatotropin are especially important. They help restore muscles and the body as a whole.

If you don’t get enough sleep, then cortisol will increase, thus interfering with a proper recovery or even exposing your muscles to decay.

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