Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beauty Sleep: Fact or Myth?

Your mother told you to get to bed early….well turns out, once again, Mom was right. Beauty sleep can help keep you looking great but it has much more value than what you see in the mirror.

The Average American sleeps 2 hours less now than they did 40 years ago. Lack of consistent sleep can change delicate hormonal balances. With less than 8 hours, Cortisol increases and Human Growth Hormone decreases leading to poor muscle recovery and weight gain. Cortisol is especially important because in the later stages of sleep it increases aiding in muscle recovery and growth. Depriving your self in the later stages of sleep can actually hinder you from gaining muscle mass.

Sleep deprivation can decrease your ability to process glycogen (sugar) which a can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where normal amounts of insulin are not sufficient to process glucose to convert it to energy. Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain, sluggishness and inability to concentrate and even Type 2 Diabetes.

It as also shown to decrease aerobic endurance and increase your rated perceived exertion. So you will be less efficient in your aerobic activities and it will seem harder doing the same amount of work.

As a new mom, I understand how easy it is to put your sleeping schedule on the back burner but if you make it a priority, it will help you to be more effective in many aspects of your life. It’s your choice!

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