Sleep, siestas, nap, catnap or snooze, anywhere and at any time of the day account for some amount of rest and are a respite from our dynamic world.
Some may get it for few hours in the day, some, like babies may sleep the entire day and others may not get it at all.
But, then again, like every machine when used continuously, gets weary, our bodies, which function the whole day and help us perform what our mind desires, may also get tired after a point of time, no matter how much coffee and tea one uses to keep it refreshed.
Hence, here is where the basic importance of sleep lies.
Secondly, optimum sleep is also linked with weight loss. Yep, good sleep is positively linked with several big studies as well as by professionals (read this, this and this), to loss of ugly fat and increase in lean muscle.
An average individual requires between 7-9 hours of sleep (research link). However, the sleep pattern differs with different age groups.
For e.g. – teenagers may require 8 hours of sleep and elderly sleep of less than 5 hours in fragments. But, with the changing times, less and less importance is given to sleep. The youth especially, think of it as a waste of time as it seems that we do nothing while we sleep.
So, in order to fit in large amount of work in a single day, we compromise on our sleep and shun away that element which replenishes, restores and rejuvenates our body and mind. Thus, lack of sleep takes a toll on our physical, emotional and mental health. It’s effects can be long term or short term.
Essentially, 36% of our life is spent sleeping.
Why We Are Worse Off Today
But the 21st century seems to be mastering the art of sleep deficiency. The amount of alcohol and caffeine intake is on a rise and people spent several hours in the light to keep the mind aware.
Several arbitrary statements were also made by people stating that sleep is for wimps or sleep is a criminal waste of an individual’s time. But, I would like you to consider the importance of sleep. While we sleep, our brain is awake, functioning well, however relaxed like our body.
Some elements of the brain are said to function well only when we are sleeping. Also, when we wake up, even though the noise of the alarm clock seems jarring to our ears, we tend to feel more fresh and aware and are able to take decisions with full concentration.
Consider a day when you ate correctly (maybe tried my frozen foods!) and where you have slept soundly and get up after your 8 hours of sleep are complete.
There is nothing more fulfilling than that. On such particular days, an individual is less stressed out, it reduces the risk of in taking alcohol and we are mentally more aroused apart from listening well and being more aware of the things happening around us. So, sleep well and be more successful.
Yes, I am very much for the motion that sleep plays a vital role when you are trying to lose weight, shed that tummy fat, and also in various other sectors of our life.
Lack Of Sleep Induces Micro-Sleep
We may not realize it but lack of sleep gives rise to a very mind- boggling concept called micro-sleep (read this for dangers of micro-sleep) which is a temporary episode of sleep or a short nap for a fraction of seconds.
I can completely relate to this concept as a student as, whenever I was tired or had less hours of sleep the previous night, I micro-slept during my lectures for a couple of seconds and miss a part of it without even realizing it.
This concept has even been the cause of several road accidents wherein the drivers suffer from a lack of sleep and tend to fall asleep especially in freeways.
This is accounted to be as dangerous as drunk driving, if not worse.
But, a good night sleep can do wonders as they make us more positive towards our emotional relationships.
It can help us lose fat, and we can cover a large amount of work in a short span of time and avoid micro-sleeping, which is considered to be dangerous by experts, even though it may seem as a power nap and give us energy.
Thus, in conclusion I would like to state that sleep is extremely vital to our body, and not only for your fat loss goals, but also for general health.
In fact, for most people who come to my blog searching for weight loss quick fixes, or help with controlling their cravings, popular diet pills, fad diets or even the scammy belts, I first email and ask them, “How many hours do you sleep every day?”… and more often than not, I get an answer akin to, “I don’t know, maybe about 5-6 hours…?”
And though the internet competes with it and your (several) cups of coffee takes it away for some time, there is nothing in the world that can replace it.
So, sleep well, get slim and live well.