by Tony Gjokaj August 21, 2020 3 min read
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.
Thanks for reading Reforged Legion!
Any questions or comments? Throw them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read
When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.
It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).
In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?
Is there something wrong with us?
Absolutely not. This happens with depression.
The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.
I've been there.
But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.
In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.
by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read
Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.
When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.
I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.
This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.
In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read
When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.
I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.
Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.
Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.
So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.
So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.
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