The Importance of Sleep in Your Diet ~YOUR HEALTH with RICK BELLANTI

By: Rick Bellanti – May, 2019

Lack of sleep in your life can for sure make you miserable, cranky and over tired the next day. In the long run, skimping on sleep can mess up more than just your mood. Studies show getting quality sleep on a regular basis can help improve all sorts of issues, from your blood sugar to your workouts.

In the US there are over 40 million people that have a chronic sleep disorder, which is a disruption of a normal sleep pattern that is persistent and will last for more than three months. These are Insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Sleep Apnea and Narcolepsy. The most common of the sleep disorders is insomnia, right now there are over 70 million people who suffer from insomnia and 29% of adults have reported to sleep less than six hours a night regularly.

If you are experiencing sleepless nights, there are a variety of treatment options for it including: medications, relaxation techniques and aroma therapy to name a few. If you are experiencing Secondary Insomnia, then you should talk to your doctor and discuss what therapy option might be best for you, depending on the condition you currently have that is keeping you from a good night’s sleep.

When you’re not sleeping properly, you will notice you will have an issue trying to remember things. That’s because sleep plays a big part in our memory. Without enough sleep over time, it’s tough to focus and take in new information. Your brain also doesn’t have enough time to properly store memories so you can pull them up later. Proper sleep lets your brain catch up so you’re ready to recall details better and keep your memory sharp.

There are 18 million people who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder where there are pauses in breathing because the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep; this may occur up to twenty or thirty times in an hour. It is typically a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep and often as a result, the quality of your sleep is poor. It is more common in people who are overweight but it can affect anyone. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people.

Getting enough sleep also boosts your mood. While you are sleeping your brain is still working in the back ground and processes your emotions, so it needs this rest time to keep your thoughts positive throughout the day. If you do not rest properly and have your brain do its job, then you will have negative thoughts throughout the day. So, yes, sleep will help keep you in a positive mood.
Right now in the US there are over 200,000 people suffering from narcolepsy, which is a disorder that causes periods of daytime sleepiness. This condition is brought on by not sleeping well at night and some people who have the disorder fall asleep suddenly, even if they’re in the middle of talking or eating.

Narcolepsy has no cure, but medicine and lifestyle changes again can improve symptoms.

Sleep deprivation is a major cause when you’ve hit a plateau on your weight loss and can even lead to weight gain. Lack of sleep slows your metabolism and raises your level of cortisol in your brain. A few columns ago we talked about cortisol levels in your brain and how it is the stress hormone that stimulates hunger. Studies have shown that insufficient sleep can cause the release of additional cortisol making it even harder for you to lose weight. The recommended sleep for an individual is between 7 and 8 hours a night.

Besides robbing you of energy and time for muscle repair, lack of sleep saps your motivation, so in order to stay motivated and workout you need the proper rest before and after your workouts.
Remember, a good night’s sleep will help you in your journey to better health, helping you lose weight, keep you more alert during the day, improve your memory, reduce inflammation and reduce stress. Good-night and sleep well my friends.

Rick Bellanti is a wellness columnist and is on a journey himself to lose 240lbs. and has lost 160 lbs. since the start of 2015. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to his Getting Healthy with Rick Bellanti Facebook page and once a month he will address a few of the topics here. ◊