Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sleep? What's the BIG DEAL, Anyway?

We have all heard that sleep is important to our health - whatever our goals.  But do you know WHY it is so important/what essential things happen when you sleep?  I didn't!  I just heard an interview with Dr. Paul Anderson - a medical doctor in both Canada and the U.S. who specializes in natural remedies/cures to ailments instead of medical ones.  All I can say is - I DEFINITELY need to work on the sleep factor! :-)  Now if someone could give me the magic pills to make my KIDS perfect the sleep factor . . . .
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Sleep But Need To:
1) A good night's sleep means you don't wake up more than once during the night.
2) A good night's sleep is at least 7 hours of natural, deep sleep.
3) During deep sleep, you release your growth hormone (fat-burning hormone).
4) Deep sleep between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. gives you maximum hormone production, rebuilds neurotransmitters in your brain, and turns off body inflammation. SO GET TO BED EARLY, in other words!
5) Sleeping pills don't allow you to get to deep sleep. They are unnatural. So, though you are technically sleeping, you are never really rested and don't reap the benefits of deep sleep.
6) Not sleeping enough can make you GAIN WEIGHT. The University of Washington took identical twins - one they let sleep more than 7 hours, the other less than 7 hours. The one that didn't get enough sleep put on 5 lbs of FAT (not water retention or inflammation - FAT) in four weeks.
7) If you get adequate sleep, you can reduce your body fat by 33%.
8) Neurotransmitters are our anti-stress system in our brain - they are enhanced/rebuilt when we sleep. So sleep reduces stress/cortisol levels from our brains to our entire system.
9) You can't make up sleep. No sleeping 5 hours one night and 10 hours another and reaping the same benefits. You need 7-12 hours every single night.
10) Increased stress, unhealthy weight gain, disconnected neurotransmitters, etc. all shorten our DNA.  Shortened DNA=Shortened Lifespan.  So getting adequate sleep actually increases your lifespan!

"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Maybe there's more truth to that than I realized! :-)


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