It’s time to stop calling sleep a pillar of health. Sleep is not standing there like The Queen’s Guard wearing a fuzzy black hat beside the soldiers diet and exercise.
Sleep is the foundation of health, with diet and exercise resting on top of it. Eating good food and getting plenty of exercise only go so far without sleep.
Let’s talk about food first.
Studies have shown participants with short sleep had reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin. These are hormones that send messages to your body. Leptin communicates that you’re full and to stop eating. Lower the leptin and your body isn’t sending a signal to stop stuffing yourself. Scientists call Ghrelin the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite. Ghrelin equals growling. Elevated Ghrelin makes your stomach start growling when you haven’t slept enough.
Now, onto exercise.
When athletes don’t get their body’s biological sleep requirements they don’t produce an adequate amount of testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone that allows the body to build muscle after training and difficult workouts. Muscles are broken down during a workout. If an adequate amount of testosterone is in the body, those muscles are rebuilt larger and stronger.
Sleep is the cinder block and concrete foundation at the base of every aspect of health. Let’s celebrate sleep in a new way and tell people what a good night of rest can do to their diet and exercise.