Sleep deficiency can interfere with work, school, driving and social functioning. You might have trouble learning, focusing and reacting. Also, you might find it hard to judge other people’s emotions and reactions. Sleep deficiency affects your mood significantly and can make you feel frustrated, cranky or anxious in social situations.

During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In our industry, we look at how sleep affects our hormones which in turn affects fat loss and muscle mass.

Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

TYPES OF SLEEP:

1. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) = dreaming occurs 

2. Non-Rapid Eye Movement =  commonly known as deep sleep

Your ability to function and feel well while you’re awake depends on whether you’re getting enough total sleep and enough of each type of sleep. It also depends on whether you’re sleeping at a time when your body is prepared and ready to sleep (exercise helps influence this).

You have an internal “body clock” that controls when you’re awake and when your body is ready for sleep. This clock typically follows a 24-hour repeating rhythm (called the circadian rhythm). The rhythm affects every cell, tissue and organ in your body and how they work.

WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR BODY WHEN WE SLEEP?

Sleep deficiency increases body fat.

Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down, which overall influences your satiety levels.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.

Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep (Non – REM) triggers the body to release growth hormone and testosterone which promotes protein synthesis which boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues.

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you are sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.

WHY DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT OUR SLEEP?

It commonly interrupts your circadian rhythm – affecting the normal production of chemicals in the body that trigger sleepiness when you’ve been awake for a long time and subside once you’ve had enough sleep.

It blocks REM sleep– resulting in lower-quality sleep. With less REM sleep, you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy and unfocused.

It can aggravate breathing problems- Alcohol causes your whole body to relax, including the muscles of your throat. And that makes you more prone to snoring and sleep apnea.

It leads to extra bathroom trips– typically your body has learned to put your bladder into hibernation for the night. However, alcohol – a diuretic, can make you need to go more, interrupting your normal sleep pattern.