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Don't Fall Asleep on Your Health

Did you know there are still 24 hours in a day? Of course, but it feels like there is less time to get things done today than in years past. Between school, work, family, social life, and exercise, who has the time to get everything done?
As a result, you may be part of a growing number of people who go to bed later and get up earlier to get daily tasks done. But you should know, letting your sleep take the hit for a busy schedule is a problem that can impact your health.

Wake Up to the Health Stats

A review of 15 studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found some alarming statistics in which sleep quality and duration can have a direct impact on your health. The study found that people who get less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night have a far greater risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke when compared to those who get adequate rest.

A separate study by the NCBI found that healthy young men who sleep less than 4 hours per night for consecutive nights showed symptoms of pre-diabetes. When put back on a healthy sleeping regimen, the symptoms went away. Other studies show a strong correlation between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes.

You Are What You Sleep

One of the strongest risk factors for obesity is a lack of sleep. The link between one’s quality and duration of sleep and weight gain has been widely studied, and people with shorter sleeping sessions tend to weigh more than those with healthy sleeping habits. In an extensive study produced by the NCBI, they found an 89% higher likelihood that children with unhealthy sleeping patterns would become obese. Adults were 55% more likely.

You can't eat while sleeping, but studies have found that individuals who are sleep deprived have a larger appetite resulting in the consumption of more calories. This is because poor sleeping habits affect your hormones that regulate appetite.

Sawing Logs and Exercise

Sleep has been shown to have a direct impact on athletic performance. In another study by the NCBI, they measured collegiate basketball players’ sleep and athletic performance and found that longer sleep periods increased speed, reaction times, accuracy and overall well-being. A separate study of nearly 3,000 elderly women found that poor sleeping habits had a direct link on slower walking, reduced grip strength, and a greater difficulty in performing independent activities.

Any idea what the enemy of fat is? Muscles. They help you burn fat. On the flipside, what is the enemy of muscles? A lack of sleep. Brazilian scientists found that those who have less sleep show a decrease of protein synthesis—your body's ability to make muscles, causing a loss of muscle and an increase in injury.

In conclusion, sleeping is one of the most important activities in your life. Although we are all busy, we need to ensure we set aside one-third of our day for sleeping. Don’t think about all the other tasks you could be doing instead, think about the benefits you’ll gain and the risks you’ll dodge by getting a good night’s sleep.

Have questions about this article or looking for some workout tips to get you in-and-out of the gym quicker? Stop by your local Axiom and speak with one of our personal trainers about the Truth in Fitness.

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