The importance of sleep – Day 19

Not sleeping has the same effect on the body as eating carbs...
Not sleeping has the same effect on the body as eating carbs…

I just woke up from a much deserved nap.
Afternoon naps are the greatest luxury and one that everyone, should try to afford, as much as possible for a happy and healthy life.
Especially mothers. I woke up this morning as a ‘ mummy sandwich ‘ in between two gluten free children, aged 9 and 3, both taking advantage of their father’s absence at the moment.
In Thai culture, parents and children co-sleep into the children’s teen years..I do like the warm and fuzzy, connected side of co-sleeping arguments, but sleep is important and slumber with little ones is sleep depriving, not to mention painful. My kids are like sleeping circus acrobats with a tendency to kick me in the face.

Traditionally our ancestors and some of today’s farmers, will usually wake up early, get the job done and have a nap sometime in the early afternoon. This is not lazy. This is clever. DO you have a muffin top, or spare tyre around your waist, even though you eat well and exercise? This annoying bit of chub is most likely from sleep deprivation. Most of us need at least 8-9.5 hours of sleep to be healthy.

Sleep deprivation affects you physically, mentally and socially (if you are as grumpy as me, when you haven’t had enough sleep).
One or two nights of inadequate sleep will make you as insulin resistant as a type two diabetic. Lack of sleep adds to an imbalance in Cortisol, the stress hormone, which also controls a protein called, collagen. Yes, the protein that keeps your skin nice and tight and unwrinkled.
SO basically if you want a fat belly, diabetes, wrinkled and saggy skin or even cancer according to recent studies, then stay up all night on the computer, watching TV or partying. ( OK every now and then has to be alright? But not every night OK?)

In order to get a really great night sleep, darken your room completely, with no lights at all, not even from a clock and turn your phones off. (BTW, leaving your mobiles on next to your bed is really nasty.See future post).
The reason that the room has to be darkened has a scientific reason. There are proteins in your red blood cells that register the smallest amount of light and send this information to your brain, which blocks a very important antioxidant hormone ( this means one that helps you remain youthful ) called melatonin. This process in turn will create an imbalance in your cortisol levels, which will place you into the cancer, diabetes, sagging bottom category again.
So remember 8-9.5 hours a night, make it completely dark and don’t forget to turn off your gadgets. If you use your mobile as an alarm clock, then at least switch it to flight mode.
If you need more information or you don’t want to believe me, check out these TED Talks: