Why You Need Sleep
Sleep: It Does A Body Good!
Sleep is so much more important than milk that the dairy industry should hand over their slogan.
It can be so frustrating when you know someone who doesn’t get healthy sleep. The negative consequences of sleep deprivation are so widely known that you just wanna shake ‘em and say, “GET SOME SLEEP!” because they’re making everything in their life worse. Decreased shut eye can lead to immediate cognitive decline, is a predictor for weight gain, weakens your immune system, leads to declined athletic performance, is associated with with various illnesses, and disrupts your body’s natural recovery processes. That’s so many bad things that can happen to you just from not sleeping enough!
The way you can tell that adequate sleep is important is that your body craves it and the lack thereof leads to unpleasant physical symptoms akin to hunger or thirst. Your eyes droop, you get irritable, you start to feel weak, and if you go long enough without sleep you literally start falling asleep during whatever you’re doing. That doesn’t happen when you’re hungry or thirsty! You don’t just start biting the air when you’re hungry as if you’re eating an invisible sandwich.
And yet, people continue to skimp on sleep. And, to make matters worse, given that we’re living through late-stage capitalism, the general assumption is that we have no value other than the labor we produce, so skipping sleep in favor of work or artistic pursuits is glorified and romanticized! YOU’RE NOT DOING YOURSELF ANY FAVORS! If this more detailed explanation doesn’t get you to bed on time then only your own inevitable rock bottom will do the trick.
Sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain.
An extensive study by Sleep, the journal of the Sleep Research Society, highlighted that sleep deprived children and adults were respectively 89% and 55% more likely to become obese. In part, this is is because, as highlighted by a study by Plos Med, short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes you feel hungry. Being on the keto diet reduces the amount of ghrelin that gets released, which reduces your appetite. But a lack of sleep literally cancels that out!
Meanwhile, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted how sleep restriction leads to increased activation of brain regions sensitive to food stimuli and a different study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provided evidence that acute partial sleep deprivation increases food intake in healthy men. Put it all together and you’re going to end up satiating your increased hunger by overeating food that’s bad for you! That’s literally the opposite of a diet! All because you couldn’t get a good night’s sleep.
If you know anything about low carb diets and pregnancy then you know that weight gain can lead to female infertility. How? Because fat cells produce estrogen, and if you have too much estrogen in your body the hormone may interfere with ovulation and menstruation. Skipping Zzzzs is a slippery slope to infertility!
Sleep deprivation decreases cognitive function.
The journal Neurology conducted a review of the cognitive benefits of sleep and their loss due to sleep deprivation, discovering that sleep improves cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. These benefits are also reasons for why you shouldn’t skip breakfast. Meanwhile, being on keto improves mood, concentration, and energy levels. So, in a very real way, skimping on sleep starts to negate the benefits of keto and eating a healthy breakfast. Additionally, Neuropsychopharmacology, the official publication of the American College of Neuropharmacology, published a study that showed how frontal lobe metabolic decreases with sleep deprivation are not totally reversed by recovery sleep, which translates to poor decision making! Once again, not getting enough shut-eye sets you up for failure. GO TO SLEEP!
Sleep deprivation decreases athletic ability.
You may know why you should do cardio while on the keto diet and why you should strength train, but your ability to do either would be greatly undermined if you’re not hitting the hay early enough. Sleep studied the effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players, discovering that being tired made basketball player play better. JK! NEVER WOULD SLEEP DEPRIVATION BE GOOD! It made them play worse, doy! Sleep also found that poor sleep is associated with poorer physical performance and greater functional limitations in older women.OF COURSE! What, you thought less sleep was going to make someone better at something? No!
Luckily, if you’re having trouble falling asleep, then you can actually turn to working out as a remedy. As reported by Everyday Health, the intimate relationship between fitness and sleep is such that moderate workouts three to four times a week will make it easier for you to fall asleep. Hurrah!
Sleep deprivation is linked to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care, a journal, produced a study on the quantity and quality of sleep and incidence of type 2 diabetes that posited that the, “Quantity and quality of sleep consistently and significantly predict the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes.” And while the answer to the question of, “Can diabetics do the keto diet?” is a resounding, “Yes!” that doesn’t mean you should just skimp on sleep and hope keto will pick up the slack. Getting the right amount of sleep is always the right choice!
Sleep deprivation is bad for your health in general.
FASEB J, the official journals of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, found that partial night sleep deprivation reduces natural killer and cellular immune responses in humans.At the same time, the Archives of Internal Medicine studied the relationship between sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. They learned that, “poorer sleep efficiency and shorter sleep duration in the weeks preceding exposure to a rhinovirus were associated with lower resistance to illness.” Of course they did! Not once has a study said, “Hey, bro, sleep less!” Also, I would not trust a study that addresses me as bro, dude, man, boss, buddy, or even sir. Studies should be written objectively because they are scientific pursuits. And you know what the science of sleep says? GET SEVEN TO NINE HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT!
Sleep deprivation doesn’t just make you more susceptible to colds. As explained by Very Well Health, when you don’t sleep enough you put your body under unnecessary stress. What you need to know about intermittent fasting is that putting your body under controlled stress can make your body better at handling stress, but that’s a different type of stress. When you skip sleep, your body responds like something really, really bad is happening. Why? Because whatever’s going down is bad enough to keep you from sleeping! That leads to high blood pressure and the release of stress hormones. That’s a one-two punch because high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke, and stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep, leading to a vicious cycle. That’s long term damage! Oh, and increased stress hormones are associated with cancer, diabetes, and the general deterioration of your body.
Sleep deprivation undermines muscle growth.
Lifehacker explains why sleep is so important when you're trying to build muscle: it’s when you’re getting your shuteye that hormones necessary for muscle growth, like testosterone and IGF-1, are released. Sleep less and less of those hormones get released, which means you’ll be making less gains and getting less swol. Instead of asking, “Do you even lift?” people are going to start asking, “Do you even sleep?” After reading this list your answer better be, “Yes!”