According to the CDC, one-third of US adults don't get enough sleep in their lives. As a result, we encounter a lot of health issues with not just physical health, but mental health as well.
Sleep plays a large role in mental health. In fact, poor sleep can lead to issues with depression, anxiety, stress, and more.
One of the biggest challenges in my early teens was the inability to fall asleep. I had issues with insomnia and depression, which also impeded my sleep.
In this post, we are going to dive into how sleep affects our mind and body.
Let's dive in!
There is an inverse relationship when it comes to sleep and depression. With symptoms of depression, it is difficult to sleep... and sleep-deprivation has been shown to cause depression.
We have to think of sleep as restorative. It takes out the waste our brains accumulate and help us recover.
Anxiety is a huge issue that a lot of us are encountering today. Among most 18 to 25-year olds, more than half encounter anxiety challenges. In addition, most 18 to 25-year olds are also sleep deprived... and there is a correlation between the two.
According to one study, poor sleep has a correlation with anxiety disorders. I can attest to this from my teenage years, where most of my anxiety and depression was because I did not sleep well.
Most of my friends and people I previously coached in exercise dealt with anxiety issues as a result of their 5-6 hours of sleep.
When you aren't getting enough sleep, your stress and fatigue levels elevate. In fact, poor sleep makes it more difficult to manage or cope with stress.
On average, adults who sleep fewer than 8 hours report higher levels of stress (compared to others who sleep 8 hours).
According to various studies, poor sleep has a large connection to weight gain and obesity. This is because when we are sleep-deprived, ghrelin (our appetite hormone) spikes and leptin (our appetite suppressor) decreases.
Our bodies start to crave more high-calorie fatty foods to satiate our appetite. However, calorie-dense foods are difficult to satiate appetite with, so we tend to overconsume calories as a result. In fact, according to one meta-analysis, sleep-deprived individuals consumed on average 385 extra calories.
This is why it's super important to optimize your sleep, and if you're not... you're missing a potential weight loss opportunity.
Most of these issues have an inverse relationship with sleep, where you have trouble getting enough sleep when you encounter anxiety or depression. The only solution is to build sleep pressure so that you allow yourself to get well-needed sleep.
Here are six ways to improve your sleep and build sleep pressure with lifestyle changes:
Making good lifestyle changes will help with your sleep, but always seek help from a professional if you continue to struggle with proper sleep.
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One of the most difficult things to implement is a diet or exercise regiment. According to one study, more than 50% of people will drop out of their exercise program within 6 months. Most of the time, this is a result of our exercise program not meeting expectations. Our hesitations typically come from ourselves - and it's never always one reason.
There are typically multiple reasons as to why we drop out of our exercise and nutrition regiments.
In this post, we are going to go over the five barriers that hold most of us back from fitness.
Let's dive in!
We all witness the initial water weight loss that comes from dieting... it's so cool to drop 5-10lbs in one week when we start.
And then, it slows down... it even stops.
Some people get disheartened from this and believe that it's in their genetics... that the diet didn't work... that no matter what they do, it's useless.
I've been there.
I've tried Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic, and low-carb diets way before they were cool. To be honest, most of these methods were never sustainable for me in the long-term: I would eventually always stop them. Being that I grew up with a family whose meals were Mediterranean-styled, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbs were always a part of my life.
Sometimes, having trouble eliminating food groups in diets is not because of willpower or discipline... it's because of adherence. To us, adherence is the most important thing in a diet, as it eventually breeds discipline and consistency.
It was not until I incorporated Flexible Dieting that my entire lifestyle changed for the better.
In this post, we will explore the Flexible Dieting system in its entirety. It's a system I have used through quite a few successful fat loss and muscle gain phases since 2013.