Sleep Critical for Peak Performance and Health

Sleeping less than seven to eight hours per night can ruin your health and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Poor sleep patterns impair metabolic health, promote abdominal obesity, increase insulin levels, diminish blood sugar regulation, trigger abnormal blood fats and raise blood pressure. Warning signs include snoring and daytime sleepiness. You need adequate sleep for recovery and restoration. Lack of sleep leaves you fatigued, achy and disoriented. Sleep is critical for protein synthesis. Lack of sleep causes tissue breakdown marked by increases in catabolic hormones such as cortisol, and decreases in anabolic hormones such as testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Inadequate sleep slows pathways involved in protein synthesis, increases protein breakdown and promotes loss of muscle mass and muscle degradation. In athletes, inadequate sleep slows injury repair and tissue recovery. In older adults, sleep deprivation contributes to sarcopenia— the loss of muscle tissue. (Strength Conditioning Journal, 38(1): 61-67, 2016)

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