5 Ways More Sleep Will Make You Healthy and Happy


5 Ways More Sleep Will Make You Healthy and Happy

It’s the last push before the end of the school year. You’re crazy-busy. With so much going on, you might be surprised that we’re urging you to take some of your valuable time to get more sleep.

After all, we’re a gym. And perhaps you’re used to gyms giving you tips like how maintain your workout schedule or avoid “bad” foods at graduation parties — not talking about why you need more sleep.

But here’s the thing: If you don’t get enough sleep, you sabotage everything else you need to live a healthy life.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

About seven to nine hours per night. But more than a third of us sleep less than seven hours.

You can probably guess a big reason behind this shortfall: To take care of our jobs and families, we skimp on sleep.

This time of year, those family responsibilities might take over your schedule. Parents are helping restless kids wind down the school year, with all that entails: final exams, class parties, prom, graduation. And then there’s the last-minute planning for summer, from camps to vacations.

All of this affects your emotions, too. The bittersweetness of the kids growing up — especially if you have one who’s leaving home — can lead to some sleepless nights.

The Benefits of More Sleep

You might pride yourself on your ability to “power through” when life is a whirlwind. But you’ll actually come out of this season healthier in all ways — physically, mentally, spiritually — if you slow down a little. Here are five big ways that getting more sleep will support your total health and well-being.

  1. You’ll be less hungry. Sleep deprivation messes up your levels of the hormones that signal your body to eat and to hold onto calories. Getting more sleep helps you feel full longer and lets your body know it’s OK to go ahead and burn those calories you just took in.
  2. You’ll store less fat. Sleep deprivation also affects sex hormones. When they’re out of whack, your body stores more fat. (Not to mention the fact that you’ll have trouble getting in the mood).
  3. Your metabolism will be speedier. Here’s another reason that getting more sleep helps you maintain a healthy weight. When you miss some ZZZ’s, your metabolism slows down.
  4. You’ll protect yourself from high blood sugar and inflammation. A lack of sleep increases blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetes. Higher blood sugar means less, long-lasting fat metabolism during the night (and even less sleep). This sets the stage for inflammation in your body — the root of many health problems.
  5. You’ll be sharper — and nicer. We know: Everyone’s counting on you at work and at home. Colleagues and family need you to be insightful, even-tempered and empathetic. More sleep can help.

At Avenu Fit, we can help you establish a total health and fitness plan that emphasizes proper sleep. Stop by any time to learn more.

Action Steps

  1. Track your sleep this week. How close are you to the recommended totals?
  2. This week, turn off all your screens (TV, phone, etc.) 30 minutes before bedtime. At the end of the week, make a note of whether you slept better.
  3. Sometimes we stay up to get “just one more thing” done. List five things you could let go (or be less of a perfectionist about) to free up time for more sleep.
Brent Gallagher

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