We all know the results of excessive credit card balances: high interest rates, penalties and a poor credit score. Sleep debt is the same. Your body tolerates a lack of quality sleep for only so long and then, just like your credit card being cut off because you didn’t pay the bill, your body begins to break down. The results can vary from a chronic treatable condition to diabetes, stroke, or heart failure. For many a sleep debt may result in extra pounds that just won’t come off. So before you start a new weight loss program or drink lemon juice for a week for rapid weight loss, consider just going to bed. It may help you lose weight and get rid of that sleep debt.
Most of us consider sleep a natural part of our days. For many it is a cherished time when we crawl between the sheets and allow ourselves to fully relax and let go of worries, demanding schedules, and family responsibilities. However, for many of us easing our fast paced lives into the blissful dream-time and remaining in that deep state of sleep is not always easily accomplished. Sleep disorders affect a large portion of the population. It is often stated with a great sense of pride how little sleep someone got because they were working extra hard or celebrating extra long, but there is indeed a cost to late nights and early mornings. We all know the symptoms: baggy eyes, lethargic attitude, grumpy demeanor. But are these annoying results of sleep deprivation all that we should be concerned about? The answer is no. Weight gain and difficult weight loss are also serious health issues that may be a result from lack of quality sleep.
The link between difficult weight loss and sleep disorders goes both ways. Being overweight can lead to sleep problems, while sleep deprivation can lead to exhaustion, poor eating behavior, and a shift in metabolism which puts on the extra pounds. We need approximately 7.5 hours of sleep a night. A recent study showed that men getting only 5 hours of sleep were twice as likely to gain weight as men getting more sleep. Many people believe it is a mental thing: “I can push through and I’m fine.” Or the other claim, “That’s what coffee is for.” In truth, it is a hormone thing, and all the coffee in the world can not fix that. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells you when to eat. When you are sleep-deprived you produce more ghrelin, so your body is being told that it is hungry. Leptin is the hormone that informs you to stop eating. When you are not getting enough sleep you produce less leptin.
Getting an evaluation from a sleep specialist is an important step to guiding yourself back onto the path of health and wholeness. If you want to find out right now, you can take this free sleep risk assessment developed by top sleep specialists. It consists of key questions, which have been scientifically validated so as to provide a better understanding if you are at risk for a sleep disorder. These include a basic BMI or Body Mass Index and a series of lifestyle questions. If it is determined that you are at risk for a sleep disorder in your personal report, the next step is usually a sleep test. A sleep specialist will analyze and evaluate this clinical data and if it is determined that you are suffering from a sleep disorder, the specialist will then develop a personalized treatment plan. Getting out of sleep debt is not so hard when you have experts helping you.
There are over 86 different sleep disorders which can seriously impact overall health and quality of life. Weight gain and weight loss are integral components of this quiet and often deadly health issue. Don’t let sleep debt bankrupt your health. If you want to lose weight and have issues with sleep see a sleep specialist and find out if you are at risk. Rapid weight loss schemes don’t usually work and your real problem may be in the bedroom. It may be the best weight loss program you ever tried without doing anything but falling to sleep.