High Price of Bad Sleep

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By: Mike Dunn | Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 2:46 PM, Jun 8, 2022 Updated: 4:04 PM, Jun 8, 2022

Over the past several decades, the amount of time that Americans spend sleeping has steadily decreased – and so has the quality of that sleep. And not getting enough sleep can have an almost immediate effect on your mood, energy levels and ability to focus. Our friend, Dr. Michael Breus aka The Sleep Doctor, has three important ways that lack of sleep impacts you for starters.

“Sleep affects every organ system and every disease state, literally everything you do, you do better with a good night’s sleep,” says Breus.

For starters, it affects weight loss.

“Every single diet or eating recommendation that you hear there should be a little caveat right next to it that says only works if you sleep okay.” When you’re sleep deprived, four things happen. First, our cortisol rises because your brain doesn’t know why we’re still awake. So, it signals that you need food for energy and increases our appetite.

“The second thing that happens is it says, hold on, I’m awake. I need to slow down the use of my resources,” he continues, explaining how this ultimately slows down your metabolism.

Next, it affects exercise.

The sleepier you are, the harder the exercise becomes. “When you’re sleep deprived, you are far greater likelihood to injure yourself,” Breus advises. Avoid exercise for at least four hours before bedtime. When we workout, our core body temperature rises – which means we don’t get the melatonin trigger for sleep – which happens when we cool down.

Finally, it affects your mood.

“The more sleep deprived you are, the more anxious you’re gonna be, the more depressed you’re gonna be,” he says. And if you’re suffering from a mental health issue? Sleep is paramount. “Depression, anxiety, bipolar, any of those things, sleep is critical to your treatment. Because sleep is a natural mood regulator.” To help, Dr. Breus suggests keeping a worry journal. “All the things that you’re thinking about while you’re falling asleep go on one side. And then solution to that problem on the other side.”

The high price of bad sleep is at the top of our list.