When the ball dropped in Times Square, as the age-old tradition of ringing in 2014, it also commemorated the start of moving forward with your new year’s resolutions. You have lost weight watching what you eat. And you have consistently been heading out to the gym for weight training twice a week and walking on the treadmill three times a week for 30 minutes each session to stay in shape. But somehow, you can’t understand why your energy is down in the basement. What could be wrong? Lack of sleep. But you can easily tip the energy scale with sleep back to the positive.
Statistics show that in the past 30 years, more than 30 percent of American adults get less than 6 hours of sleep per night, which is classified as partial sleep deprivation. With less than an adequate amount of the recommended 8 hours of sleep, it is not surprising that your energy level starts to diminish. You start dragging both physically and emotionally.
Studies Make Connection between Energy Scale and Sleep
In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers evaluated whether or not there was a connection between partial sleep deprivation, energy levels and weight. The group discovered that a reduction in sleep caused a disruption in hormones that regulate appetite and in turn energy balance. Specifically, they found that ghrelin increased and leptin decreased. The changes in these substances caused more food to be consumed, energy levels to decrease and the body to store more fat with a change in body composition.
Research performed on animals, actually determined which part of the brain and in what stage of sleep energy levels were ramped up. The scientists evaluated levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or the ‘energy currency of brain cells’ to determine when and where in the course of a night’s sleep the amount changed. Results of the study demonstrated that there is a surge of ATP during the initial stages of sleep, which had an impact on recharging the area of the brain that is awake during the daylight hours.
Recharge Your Batteries
Is it even possible to replenish your energy and rejuvenate? You bet. Here are some easy hints to get you tipping the energy scale.
What’s the Cause?
It is important to determine the why behind the lower than ideal hours of sleep you are getting each night. There might be easy solutions: lowering stress, establishing a set bed routine and even changing your pillow and bed linens. When simple lifestyle modifications are not working to help increase the amount of quality sleep along with energy levels, it might be time to seek the help of a medical professional. Sometimes, the lack of sleep with associated lower than normal energy levels can be an indication of a more serious issue, like sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
Don’t be Idle
If your energy is low, don’t sit still. Instead it is better to get up and move. Exercise helps to boost mood, self-confidence and energy.
Not matter what, it is always a great plan of action to drink plenty of water. And with a person who might be sleep deprived, well, water can crank up the energy level. Studies have shown that when you are dehydrated, your energy plummets. Try to drink at the very least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
Keeping your blood sugar levels at an even rate throughout the day by eating mini meals helps energy stay at a steady state. Just because you are eating more frequently, it is important to remember you still need to monitor portions.
If you believe that you might be experiencing some form of sleep deprivation or have sleep apnea, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation.