If you want to live a healthy and fit life, then you must get the proper amount of sleep each night. Adults need between seven and nine hours every night (children and teens need even more).
While you are sleeping, your body goes into “repair mode.” This is when cells are repaired, major organs are restored, your immune system recharges, and your mind relaxes and restructures its thoughts.
If you’re getting enough sleep, you will wake up rejuvenated and restored. If you’re not getting enough sleep, the results could be very bad for you.
Lack of sleep:
- Invites sickness and increases your risk for disease
- Inhibits weight loss
- Reduces sex drive
- Causes clumsiness and a condition known as “sleep drunk”
- Decreases brain function
- Endangers the lives of others
However, getting the proper amount of sleep each night:
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Regulates the release of important hormones
- Reduces cortisol levels
- Increases stamina
- Slows the aging process
- Improves memory
- Sharpens alertness and attention
- Improves brain function
- Curbs inflammation
- Helps you live longer
- Spurs creativity
- Lowers stress
- Wards off depression
- Helps maintain weight
I want to focus on the last benefit: helps maintain weight
Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive (either stimulate or suppress) appetite. Lack of sleep increases appetite, whereas getting enough sleep decreases hunger and will consequently help you lose weight.
Another factor you want to consider is, if you are exercising regularly you are tearing down your muscles. But as you sleep, your muscles are healed and repaired and become even stronger for the next time you work out. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will inhibit the recovery process. You will stay fatigued and your performance level will drop.
Thankfully, those who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. So, as you develop the habit of daily exercise, your sleep should improve.
What if you have trouble sleeping? Well, here are a few scriptures for you to pray/speak over your body. (I prayed them over my kids when they were babies because I needed them to sleep so that I could sleep!)
Psalm 4:8 (NIV) I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 127:2 (NKJ) It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for He gives His beloved sleep.
Proverbs 3:24 (NKJ) When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
Sleep is a crucial factor in living a healthy and fit lifestyle. Make sure you’re getting enough!
This post is excerpted from my book, A Life That Flourishes. Click on image below to purchase.
Alisha Gratehouse is an artist, art instructor, minister’s wife, and homeschooling mom of three. Her days are filled with creating, painting, writing, drinking lots of tea, laughing with (and at) her family, and spontaneously bursting forth into song. Alisha is the author of several books including, A Life That Flourishes.