True health is a chain that is really only as strong as the weakest link. Miss but one of the critical elements of anti-aging… The MEANS to an End Lifestyle™ (Mind-set, Exercise, Avoidance, Nutrition, or Supplementation), and you risk toppling the entire house of cards.
In this day and age, sleep is often neglected… the weak link. And for that you pay a price.
Life is busy. There’s work, family, hobbies, sports, staying socially connected (physically and online), and there’s never a shortage of things to be done around the house.
Who has time for 8 hours a night?
Sleep is about regeneration. Restoration. Sleep is when our bodies go into repair mode and get us ready for tomorrow.
Consistently get less than what your body needs (most need between 6 – 8 hours per night) and it can have these adverse effects:
- weakened immune system
- impaired memory
- impaired physical ability
- impaired appetite
- lower melatonin production
- lower growth hormone production
- accelerated tumour growth
Let’s consider melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland and is called the hormone of darkness. It helps in the regulation of sleep-wake cycles in your body.
Not only is it a hormone, but a powerful antioxidant as well. Melatonin plays a crucial role in the reduction of inflammation in the body and in reducing oxidative stress, a leading cause of aging.
We know that the body produces less melatonin as you age. Getting inadequate sleep further reduces the amount of melatonin available to the body. Sleep deprivation is also melatonin depravation.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at ways to improve sleep… the optimal sleeping environment and habits you can incorporate to maximise the health benefits of sleep.