Sleep Is it really that important

People nowadays lead very busy lives. Most of us are so preoccupied that we forget to do some of the most basic things that we cannot function without! Sleeping is one such bare necessity. Skipping out on it can have a host of negative effects on our body. 

Compensating for lost sleep on weekdays by over sleeping on the weekends is a practice that most of us are accustomed to. After a long week of hard work and sleepless nights, the opportunity to not have a fixed time to get up on a weekend is always an exciting prospect. And for the most part it is also believed to be something that can benefit your body. 

But, this is actually more of a myth. Research has found that while oversleeping seem to have a relaxing effect it does not actually compensate for the negative effects of the lost sleep you had during the weekdays.

Further research revealed that oversleeping could actually make matters even worse. To put it simply, there is no substitute for consistent good nights of comfortable sleep. 

Doctors conducted studies where they had three sets of individuals who were put under different conditions. One group was only allowed to sleep 5 hours a day consistently. The second group also slept for 5 hours a day except for the weekends when they were allowed flexibility to sleep whenever they wanted and for however long they wanted. And the third group was made to sleep the optimal 9 hours a day throughout the week. 

The studies showed that both the sleep deprived groups had adverse effects on their health. Their insulin sensitivity dropped, which is not a good thing as insulin is an important hormone that regulates blood sugar and is also responsible for mobilizing fat. They also began to over eat at nights and gained some weight on average. 

The group that had the compensatory sleep cycles had one benefit in comparison though. They ate less during nights when they were allowed to sleep according to their convenience. But that being said, they went right back to their usual eating patterns once their weekend was over. This made their insulin sensitivity levels remain on par with the group that had consistent 5 hours a night sleep cycles. 

In worse cases, the insulin problems can run even deeper as sleep reduction can even cause the insulin sensitivity in your liver muscles to drop. This effect was more prevalent amongst the group that had the least amount of sleep. 

Low insulin sensitivity can cause a large number of problems. It is said to be a significant factor in causing type 2 diabetes. Obesity is also a common issue amongst people who do not sleep enough. 

In general, doctors recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep for proper functioning. Most adults tend to fall short of this number not only because they are busy, but also due to a lot of other common factors that can easily be corrected. 

Habits such as watching TV or consuming other forms of  onscreen visual entertainment at night can not only bite into your sleep times, but can also disrupt your ability to fall asleep due to the negative effects of prolonged exposure to the blue light from the screens.

Sleep is key to a body’s regenerative abilities. It not only regulates our metabolism but can also improve our mental sharpness and ability to perform. The Bottomline is, sleep is very important and the fix to lost sleep by oversleeping on weekends is a myth. So, start making changes, get in the 7 hours of sleep that is necessary, a whole world of health benefits awaits!