We all know sleep is essential to being healthy. The benefits are endless and without it your body and brain will suffer. It turns out we often overlook one of the best reasons to get a full eight hours sleep. What is it? You can’t eat while you’re asleep!
Now I know that seems pretty obvious. Yet for most sugar addicted people it’s probably the only time during the day they aren’t snacking on carbs and sugar. Sleeping may be the only time you have to fight insulin resistance or the inability of your cells to accept insulin and lower blood sugar. It’s also the best way to shut down the stress response, which plays a huge role is elevated blood sugar.
Keeping your blood sugar regulated may be the best indicator of future chronic disease. Elevated blood sugar is one of the building blocks of all chronic illness and bringing it under control should be a goal of anyone interested in controlling their own health. Realizing the role of stress in creating sleep and blood sugar problems formed the basis of why we created Sleep and Recover. It not just enough to fall asleep, you have to shut off the stress response and help the body recover its energy.
So why is poor sleep associated with losing weight? Sleep actually helps controls sugar cravings. When you don’t get enough sleep, you crave sweet and fatty foods. Poor sleep is defined by sleep that is disturbed throughout the night. You may fall asleep, but not deeply and you’ll be tossing and turning throughout the night. Or you may just not be able to ever drift off and get the sound healing sleep you need.
It’s during sleep that your brain detoxes and repairs itself. Both of these actions are dependent on deep sleep. There is also a fascinating process that occurs called autophagy, your body’s ability to eat old damaged mitochondria and start the process of regeneration. This works the best along with lower blood sugar and eliminating insulin resistance. Which brings us back to not eating or better yet – intermittent fasting.
We all intermittent fast when we’re sleep. Usually for a good eight hours we’ve stopped eating. The key to autophagy is to extend this time out to twelve hours daily. It may seem like a lot but it only means finishing dinner by 7pm and not eating again until 7am. It’s not hard and it may hold the key to eliminating insulin resistance. The amazing thing about all healing is that it simply depends on mastering the basics – sugar regulation, sleep, stress and diet, which are all things that you can control if you set your mind to it.