Subject: Sleep Your Way to Better Health- Part 2

Sleep your way to better health-Part 2
Sleep deprivation is a modern-day health crisis since many people are now sleeping less than 7 hours a day in comparison to 9 hours a few decades ago. More importantly, people are increasingly unable to enter the deeper stages 3 and 4. These Stages of sleep are when the body is in repair and rejuvenation mode. 

Therefore, uninterrupted sleep routine is part of a healthy lifestyle. This is because inadequate sleep affects the cardiovascular system, endocrine system the brain and all other organs of the body. 

In consultation with clients I always ask about the persons sleep process. From asking this question several thousand times over the last 2 decades,  I began to see a clear link between health and sleep.

Apart from the list of health hazards mentioned in the first instalment of this newsletter, there are a few more to be aware of. People who work long hours as well those who do not have a fixed routine are more prone to suffer from the health issues mentioned below. All of these issues can have a profound impact on the well-being of such people as well as prevent them from leading a productive and healthy life.

During a recent study, it has been discovered that sleep deprivation has a direct effect on the endocannabinoid (eCB) system. This system is part of the hedonic pathways that regulate appetite and the intake of food. Less sleep increases the levels of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) chemical. The levels of 2-AG stays low during the night and rises slowly towards midday. 

However, it was noted that the levels of 2-AG remained high until late in the evening in those participants who did not get sufficient sleep.

This explains why people who do not get enough sleep tend to feel more hungry. Therefore, the high levels of 2-AG were responsible for their large appetites. Also, such people tend to crave foods rich in carbohydrate, fat and protein more often. As a result of this, they put on weight faster.

Onset of chronic fatigue syndrome

Various studies has shown that the body undergoes regeneration during the third and fourth phases of deep sleep.

At this time, the body repairs and produces new cells that are essential for a person’s well being.

Waking up before this process is complete can have long-term detrimental results such as the the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The symptoms of this condition include depression, a constant feeling of tiredness and the inability to concentrate well.

Type 2 diabetes
Another risk that faces the sleep deprived is Type 2 diabetes. This is because good sleep increases glucose tolerance, which is essential for keeping Type 2 diabetes at bay. Also, irregular sleeping patterns raised glucose to dangerous levels especially after meals.

It has been found that patients with Type 1 diabetes were more susceptible to sleep deprivation due to impaired glucose metabolism. 

Because of this, the risk of later-onset of Type 2 diabetes increases manifold for such people.

Brain shrinkage
According to numerous studies, the brain needs sleep in order to get rid of irrelevant information that it has come across throughout the day. 

Also, the brain uses this period for regeneration of brain cells. Thus, the brains of people who are sleep-deprived tend to shrink over time since the brain is unable to repair itself. 

When this happens, the prefrontal cortex (which is responsible for reasoning ability) shuts down and the locus coeruleus (LC) neurons take over.

These neurons induce a state of panic and stress and these symptoms manifest themselves in sleep-deprived people. Also, IQ levels decrease after a night of poor quality rest and regularly cutting back on the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep can affect your ability to focus, think and memorize.

Impact on romantic relationships
Another study by a group of psychologists has come up with proof that the quality of a person’s sleep is closely related to the quality of their relationship. 

The findings of this study pointed out that sleep-deprived people were more self-centered and focused more on themselves in comparison to others. 

They were less likely to show gratitude and this affected their relationship with their partners. 

This study was carried out over a period of two weeks in which participants kept track of how well they slept and how appreciative they felt afterwards. Couples who had good quality sleep reported that they were able to show more appreciation for each other and they noticed an improvement in their relationship due to this.

Increased anxiety
Chronic worriers tend to suffer from insomnia more often and this can lead to the onset of anxiety disorder due to sleep deprivation. According to an experiment conducted by neuroscientists, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of such a disorder. 

These experts discovered that insufficient sleep triggered the emotional parts of the brain, such as the insular cortex and the amygdala. 

The brain then began to show patterns of abnormal neural behaviour identical to that of patients with anxiety disorder.

The synergistic impact of all of these  imbalances is that ageing is rapidly accelerated. In the next newsletter, we will look at the main reasons why people are not able to get satisfactory and restorative sleep.

To Your Total Health!

Derin Bepo.

 0207 733 7077

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