I believe in four essential pillars when it comes to Health and Wellbeing.
Exercise, Nutrition, Not getting Stressed and Sleep.
Of these four, in my opinion, Sleep is the most critical and yet most underrated and undervalued by all.
Why is it then that I call Sleep – The Elixir of life. It is because Sleep has a strong influence on the other three key health pillars.
Pillar 1 : Exercise
Poor Sleep leads to Weight Gain !
How many times have you heard this ? While the effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors including hormones and motivation to exercise, my thoughts on this are very simple.
When you get good quality sleep, you will wake up refreshed and energetic and will not only be eager to exercise, but impact of that exercise will also be more effective.
Pillar 2 : Nutrition
Lack of Sleep leads to Obesity !
Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories. Essentially, Sleep deprivation also increases levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is known to stimulate the appetite. Further, not only one eats more, but there is a tendancy to consume unhealthy food. And that also impacts your ability to sleep. We all know how high-sugar, high-carbohydrate, heavily-processed foods impact our sleep. So it becomes a vicious cycle.
Pillar 3 : Not getting Stressed
Sleeplessness leads to Stress !
Most studies talk about how Stress leads to Lack of Sleep. However, in my view, the impact of Sleep on Stress is far greater than the other way round. Why do I say that?
If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its levels of stress hormones. The brain chemicals connected with deep sleep are the same ones that tell the body to stop the production of stress hormones. As a result, when you don’t sleep well, your body keeps pumping out those hormones The next day, you feel more stressed, the following night you find it harder to fall asleep, and so on.
I have written in an earlier blog on how to get oneself to sleep well, have shared some habits that I found have helped me tremendously.
Yes my friends, Sleep is the secret to a long and healthy and happy life ! You need to develop your own routine and habits that help you sleep. It is the biggest gift you can give to yourself – A Good Night’s Sleep !
Bon Nuit Mes Amis.