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Can You Achieve Your Best When You're Sleep Deprived?

If you are one of the millions of people who are chronically sleep-deprived, you may wonder why getting a full night's rest is so important. In this article, we explain how and why we need to get enough sleep -- including the importance of REM and deep sleep as well as what happens when we don't get enough shut-eye.

Sleep is critical for good mental, physical and emotional health.

We all know that good sleep is critical for our mental and physical health. But did you know that it also has a significant impact on our mood, memory and thinking ability? Or that it's essential for maintaining a strong immune system? Sleep not only keeps us healthy; it also helps us to stay slim by controlling weight gain and reducing hunger.

Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. The importance of getting enough shuteye is evident—and so is the fact that many of us don't get enough rest when we need it most.

Sleep improves our response to stressors.

Stress is a normal part of life. Whether it’s an upcoming deadline, a looming project, or a night out with friends, we all experience stress at some point in our lives. This can be good: it helps us stay focused and motivated to achieve our goals.

However, when stress becomes chronic or too severe—like when you’re not sleeping enough—it can impact the body in harmful ways. Stress responses are mediated by neurotransmitters like adrenaline and serotonin that help us cope with stressful situations. However if these neurotransmitters are released too often or for prolonged periods of time they can cause damage to the body over time.

The body repairs cell damage from stress during sleep

Your body repairs and restores itself during sleep, including the repair of cell damage from stress. In fact, it is during sleep that your body’s organs can replenish themselves, making sure you are healthy enough to live a long life. The things we do every day—exercising, drinking water or coffee, breathing polluted air—all cause damage in our cells and tissues (we call this wear and tear). During our sleep cycle, the brain waves that keep us awake turn into slow-wave sleep (SWS) which helps with the process of repairing this wear and tear.

During SWS:

  • Your body produces more growth hormone than usual. This hormone helps build muscle mass as well as heal bones and tissue after injury or exercise;

  • Your pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) into your bloodstream—this stimulates your thyroid gland so that it can produce adequate amounts of T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). In other words, these are hormones that regulate your metabolism.

Sleep keeps you healthy and happy.

Sleep is a time when the body repairs itself, when memories are consolidated and new ideas are formed. It's a time to disconnect from the world around you, and focus on your inner self.

You might think that not being able to sleep would be a bad thing for your health, but it turns out that insomnia can cause serious problems with mood, memory and cognition. Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase irritability and impatience while decreasing creativity. If you ever find yourself feeling more like an angry sea captain than an explorer of new horizons, try getting some extra shut eye!

Sleep is a performance enhancer.

Sleep is a time when your body repairs itself and your brain processes information. During sleep, you can learn new skills and remember what you learned the day before. A study in rats showed that if they were deprived of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, they would forget what they had learned on any given day. This is why it’s important to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night!

Sleep is a time to improve the health of your heart and blood vessels.

When you sleep, your heart and blood vessels are repaired in a way that is not possible during any other time of the day. During this time, your body can do more to repair damage to the blood vessels than it can when you are awake. This is why people who don't get enough sleep often have higher risks of heart disease and other problems with their cardiovascular system.

Sleep plays a key role in maintaining immune system function.

Did you know that sleep is essential for the growth of white blood cells?

When you sleep, your body produces more anti-inflammatory proteins. These proteins help relieve aches and pains and prevent inflammation from occurring. Your immune system also releases immune system hormones during sleep. These hormones send signals to other parts of your body to strengthen them against illness or injury.

Getting enough sleep will help you maintain a healthy weight.

Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain in a variety of ways. First, it can increase hunger and cravings for starchy and sugary foods. It also disrupts your body's natural ability to regulate appetite and energy levels, causing you to feel hungrier than usual. Finally, lack of sleep increases insulin resistance (the body's inability to use insulin properly), which leads the brain to send out signals telling you that you need food. This makes it harder for people who suffer from sleep deprivation to lose weight even if they make healthy lifestyle choices like exercising regularly and eating better meals.

Getting enough restful sleep can give you an advantage in all kinds of ways, including your ability to recover after physical activity.

Sleep is an important part of the recovery process after calisthenics exercise routines. The amount of sleep you need varies by person, but studies suggest that 7-8 hours per night is optimal for most people. If you're older than 65 or your fitness level is low, experts recommend even more sleep—8-9 hours per night. Women may also need more sleep than men as they age because of hormonal changes related to menopause and other factors.

On top of this baseline recommendation, how much restful sleep you get each night depends largely on how active you are during the day (or week). If you've been running around like crazy at work or school all day without taking time to stretch out sore muscles or take a quick nap here and there, chances are good that this has taken its toll on your body's ability for recovery during evening hours.

The quality of your rest can affect how quickly your body recovers from exercise too—and not just in terms of getting enough shut-eye! There's some evidence suggesting lack of quality deep sleep can lead to feelings of fatigue during daytime activities even if overall total duration was adequate enough so it doesn't really matter whether it's 3am or 6pm when we finally fall asleep after being up way past midnight studying or working hard all day long without taking regular breaks away from computer screens/mobile phones etcetera...

How to improve the quality of your sleep.

The first step to improving the quality of your sleep is creating a good evening routine. This should involve winding down your body before bedtime, which will help you get into the most restorative phase of sleep.

One way to do this is with gentle movement. While lying on your back in bed, try rolling from side-to-side and then stretch out your arms and legs in different directions as far as they will go, taking care not to force anything too much or cause pain.

It’s also important to release any tension from the body during this time by practicing mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing and meditation that promote relaxation and mental clarity.

The environment where you sleep should be dark, a little cold (if possible) and quiet; use a sleep mask, blackout curtains or room-darkening shades if necessary so that outside light doesn’t wake you up throughout the night.


The bottom line? Sleep is a critical component of our health and well-being. Getting enough restful sleep can help us recover from physical activity and reduce the chances of injury. It also helps us be more productive at work, more creative in our hobbies, and happier in general. So don't underestimate the importance of getting enough shut-eye—it's not just about feeling rested, but also about maximizing your potential for success in every area of life!

If you would like to see what 100 Days of Discipline is all about, then I encourage you to check out our online personal training community! Check out this free offering and guide where you get to sample some similar workouts that are included in our paid challenges:

Bye for now,

Elle Honeycutt

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