Sleep deprivation seems to be the hallmark of modern society but it is not harmless. Artificial light has turned night into day with a possible 24 hour work day. The end result is a major decrease in sleep time. The loss of sleep is associated with an increase in stress to be sure but other body functions as well.
One of the first effects of sleep deprivation is seen as an increase in higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the early evening. Normally the stress hormone is decreasing in the latter part of the day as we relax and unwind from the day. The higher level of cortisol can lead to an inability to stay asleep. More than the lack of sleep it leads to insulin resistance , a risk factor for diabetes and obesity.
Sleep restriction can also impact the thyroid. It has been shown to decrease the thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) by more than 30 percent. Therefore thyroid levels are effective which regulate the metabolic rate of the body and can lead to weight gain.
Sleep and eating are also related. It turns out that our hormone that controls appetite, leptin, is markedly dependent on sleep duration. Even in as little as three nights of restricted sleep leptin decreases and the hormone that increases the appetite, ghrelin increases. Unfortunately ghrelin gives us those craving for high carbohydrate foods. All leading to more weight gain.
Clearly you can see how profoundly sleep impacts the rest of our body and puts us at risk for major chronic diseases.
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Doctor Leesa “The All Natural Pharmacist”