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Why sleeping your way to the top is good for you!

 

Are you shocked? If you want to perform, your body requires plenty of “sleep”.  I was certainly guilty of not getting enough sleep on Wednesday. I am in training for the Noosa triathlon.

I had planned to attend my swim squad class which means waking at 4.50 am. Yes you heard right. I need to confess I did not get to sleep until 11pm… so the alarm goes off and I have no energy to haul my tushy out of bed… and that swimming bag is still sitting there staring at me… and I did not do my training. As a result, this got me thinking about the importance of sleep. I found 6 compelling reasons why next time you will want to rush off to bed early, from Harvard research study.

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The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

So how much sleep are you getting? Will you sleep your way to the top? If you have kids I challenge you to go to bed at the same time one night and see how you feel.

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