Oct 24 2013
Lack of sleep can adversely affect your health and fitness. Research has shown that when healthy young men were restricted to four hours sleep for just six nights, their hormone profiles replicated those of elderly or depressed individuals. The implications for professionals in 30s and 40s are equally significant. Sleep deprivation can lead to a reduction of glucose metabolism of up to 40 per cent. Lack of sleep can cause increased hunger and appetite. Yet another study has shown that just two days of restricted sleep led subjects eat up to 45 per cent more calorie-dense carbohydrate foods. In case you are wondering why is that so, the are two hormones that are crucial in this case are ghrelin and leptin. “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin”, while “leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.” It is fairly straightforward logic, more ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.
Weight gain is not the only problem associated with lack of sleep, it can also result in all kinds of disorders that include: insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, a variety of cardio-vascular diseases and lower metabolism among others. Studies have shown testosterone levels dropped significantly in men who don’t get enough sleep, equivalent to aging 10-15 years. Testosterone is important for building strength, muscle mass and bone density, along with revving up sexual drive. These lower levels affect more than just the libido as testosterone deficiency is also linked to lower energy, poor concentration, fatigue and decreased strength. All these are factors that can adversely impact your professional as well as personal life.
We are very careful about maintaining a good credit rating, but we all rack up one debt without even thinking about it — our sleep debt. Sleep debt or sleep deficit is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep. A large sleep debt may lead to mental and/or physical fatigue. There are two kinds of sleep debt; partial sleep deprivation and total sleep deprivation. Partial sleep deprivation occurs when a person sleeps too little for many days or weeks. Total sleep deprivation means being kept awake for days or weeks. There is debate in the scientific community over the specifics of sleep debt, however it is not considered to be a disorder. You have to pay your debt in order to achieve your maximum potential!
In a study conducted at Stanford University, athletes who brought their sleep debt to zero, saw that their overall performance has increase significantly on and off the court. So, you can apply the same to your professional life and increase your concentration, speed up recovery, increase energy levels, lose weight quicker and prevent early aging all by just paying attention to your sleep.