Let's be honest. It's not the most exciting topic in the world. I'm going to quickly fire 8 benefits of sleep at you before you start to fall asleep on me
I'll be honest. Sleeps not the most exciting topic in the world is it?
While there are ripped personal trainers in expensive yachts on beautiful beaches, dancing around in their undies, taking photos for the gram and cashing in all the likes
There's me bloody writing about sleep while my dog dribbles on my lap
Not quite as "sexy" is it?
The difference is I didn't write this post to get tonnes of likes or followers
I wrote it because it's RIDICULOUSLY IMPORTANT to your health and wellness
I'm not here to be the most liked trainer in the world but to hopefully be one of the most useful ones
So to jazz up this post a bit I'll share a few stories from my life related to the benefits
Feel free to skip them if you're after a punchy read!
1. SLEEP REDUCES STRESS
When your body is sleep-deprived, it goes into a state of stress
This stress increases your blood pressure which increases your chances of a stroke or heart attack
The ironic thing is that these stress hormones also make it harder to fall asleep come bedtime
Sleep is absolutely essential for reducing stress and anxiety in our lives and it should be the very first thing we focus on when we're dealing with a stressful situation or lifestyle
Ben's Story: The other weekend my awesome girlfriend drove me all the way to Leeds (5-hour journey) to pick up an old truck I found on Facebook
It was a big, butt-ugly truck from the 90s that I'm planning on turning into my off-road beast (follow me on Instagram if you want to see how it's getting on)
Logically, 7 minutes after purchasing it I broke down on the hard shoulder with white smoke billowing out of it like a hipsters vape pen
I got dumped in the local village by the recovery man and had to wait for 7 hours to catch an overnight bus back to London and then picked up by the gf
Needless to say, I probably got about an hours sleep and jeeeeze
I was so anxious the next day! I just felt so stressed, anxious, worried and panicky
Not because of my truck. I just felt awful. I couldn't stop overthinking work and my career and my house move and... everything!
That night really highlighted what a good nights sleep can do for me!
2. SLEEP REDUCES INFLAMMATION
Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in the body. This creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions
Inflammation is also thought to cause the body to degenerate as we age
In other words, sleeping will help keep you look younger!
3. SLEEP MAKES YOU MORE ALERT
That's a pretty obvious one right, but next time you have a great nights sleep note how much better you feel for the whole day
You'll be more energised, happier and alert. This increased alertness also sets you up for a better nights sleep the following night!
4. SLEEP IMPROVES YOUR MEMORY
This is a big one for me. I have rubbish memory
Sleep turns reality into a memory
When you sleep your brains busy processing information throughout the day, making connections between events, sensory input and creating memories
5. SLEEP WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Studies have found that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night are much more likely to be overweight
Lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones that affect appetite
The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted from lack of sleep
Ben's Story: Back in my early days on training I picked up a client who was a midwife. After a few weeks of personal training with me, she soon started recommending me to her midwife-friends
If you're reading ladies...
All of my awesome midwives did night shifts, which we soon discovered made our life much, much harder
They all found that the day after a nightshift they were absolutely starving! Which was all down Ghrelin
Infact, in a recent study, scientists found that when Ghrelin was administered to a human, they consumed on average 30% more food that day!
That's pretty scary huh
6. NAPPING MAKES YOU SMARTER
Napping is great for overall health and can make you more productive
People who nap at work show much lower levels of stress
Napping also improved memory, cognitive functions and mood
Einstein, for example, used to sleep for 10 hours a night and take regular naps during the day as he was fully aware of how important sleep was for him
7. SLEEP MAY REDUCE THE RISK OF DEPRESSION
Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in the body, including serotonin
Serotonin is a feel-good hormone, it's what gives us that natural high after exercise
People with serotonin deficiencies are far more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety
Frustratingly, low levels of serotonin also cause trouble in peoples sleep!
So it acts as a double-edged sword
8. SLEEP HELPS THE BODY HEAL ITSELF
This is an important one for those of you need to recover after a tough exercise session
During sleep, the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure
While sleeping your cells produce more protein. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage
Hopefully, you're still awake after reading that, and better yet, you've learnt something!
Life is genuinely better when we're fully rested and we've slept well
So make it a priority tonight to get a full 8 hours and see how you feel tomorrow
I know for a fact you'll feel less stressed and more energetic, but you'll also be repairing your body, reducing anxiety and body fat, increasing your IQ and memory, and maybe most importantly.. looking younger!
Thanks for reading guys!
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