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Thanksgiving is coming and I can’t wait!

I get to prepare for an awesome four day weekend where my alarm clock stays OFF, and I can catch up on much needed sleep.

But I must admit. I’ve been totally wrong in telling others that I love catching up on sleep during this time. Truth is - I can’t catch up on lost sleep and neither can you.

Here’s why.

Like nearly a third of Americans in this country, I have a history of bad sleeping habits. I don’t get enough sleep to function optimally, which is known as sleep deprivation.

According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.6 million American adults are sleeping six or fewer hours a day. Despite feeling okay with minimal sleep, the reality is - this is NOT okay.

There are dire consequences for our bodies when we are sleep deprived: our insulin levels rise significantly, our bodies store more fat than it should, our cholesterol levels spike, our metabolism slows down, and we lose muscle quicker.

One study showed that “one night of total sleep deprivation may be as detrimental to insulin sensitivity as six months on a high-fat diet.”

We also lose tons of energy and become susceptible to weight gain.

When we lack energy, our bodies promote higher sugar cravings making harder to say no to the high-carb, fatty junk foods that we know we should avoid. We’ll get instant energy from these foods, but we’ll also take in a lot more calories.

Not getting enough sleep also contributes to high inflammatory levels putting us at risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Many other studies have found that insufficient sleep adds up to greater risk of Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia. (Coach John can tell you more about this, just ask him!)

We can’t avoid these effects if we aren’t getting enough sleep, and sleeping in extra hours on our days off won’t help. Studies, including a Harvard Medical School Study, have found that it is nearly impossible to "catch up on sleep" to improve our daily performance.

Even if we sleep an extra 10 hours to compensate for sleeping less than 6 hours a night for up to two weeks, our reaction times and ability to focus is worse than if we had pulled an all-nighter.

To wrap things up, I will definitely be sleeping this weekend but I won’t over do it. I’ll get the recommended amount, 7 to 9 hours, and work on building better sleeping habits.

I go to Thirdspace to stay fit and healthy, and not getting enough sleep is completely counterproductive to my goals.

So, when I show up for Coach Natalia’s 10am TRX class on Thanksgiving Day, I’ll be well rested and ready to go!

We’ll go over some recommended expert tips on how to get better sleep on another blog, so stay tuned. Hope to see you in class Thursday!

Contgributing Author: Adriana Michelle, Thirdspace Member

 

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