We probably don’t need to tell you that lack of sleep can screw up your life.
You know that it makes it harder to concentrate and work, but you may not know that it also messes with your body on levels that directly impact your ability to lose fat.
When your sleep quality is poor, your metabolic rate decreases, making it easier for you to pack on pounds faster than you can say, “McDonald’s.” A bad night of rest also limits your ability to recover from your workouts, meaning it becomes harder to become stronger and build more muscle.
But the biggest problem is tied to your hormonal production. You see, there is an implied catch-22 when it comes to sleep quality and hormones—particularly cortisol. If you have high levels of cortisol, you have trouble sleeping. And when you don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels rise. Cortisol increases during times of stress, and one way stress creates itself is insomnia. The end result is a vicious cycle that crushes your body in every direction, causing more weight gain and harming sleep patterns, which also lowers growth hormone and increases insulin. And that combination has been show to kill blood flow, diminish sex drive, and cause erectile dysfunction.
If that wasn’t bad enough, researchers at the University of Warwick and University of Naples Medical Schools found that people who sleep fewer than six hours per night have a shorter life expectancy. If living longer isn’t a good enough reason to focus on your sleep, then we don’t know what is.