Waking up for work at four in the morning has brought my awareness to the value of sleep, better yet- my dependency on sleep. While it might seem like a vow of commitment and a great jump to your day, waking up too early might do more harm than good. It’s common knowledge that not getting the proper amount of sleep can impair your mood, memory, cognitive function, immune system, and overall health. But what you might not realize is that your sleep also has a huge impact on your metabolism.
Your metabolism does a large amount of work while you are sleeping. While you are sleeping your body finishes utilizing or storing major macronutrients. By cutting your sleep cycles short, you sell your body short on the time it needs to finish digestion before you start again the next day. When you shorten the length of time your body has to utilize nutrients, it will store them by default. If you spend time counting and prioritizing macronutrients, you can see immediately while it’s important to give you body ample rest.
Beyond the science of digestion during sleep, you also have the fallout issues from not sleeping enough. When you are tired, your body craves high energy foods- carbs, sugar, and fat. When you cave and eat these foods your body feels the need to store them because it is so low on energy, and worried it will not have enough to make it through the day. So instead of giving you body fuel for the day, it will likely pack these high calorie treats away. Furthermore, when you don’t give your metabolism time to rest, it begins to slow its pace and effectiveness. When this sort of metabolic damage happens, you can slowly diminish your body’s ability to utilities all good ingested.
So do yourself a favor, and make sleep a priority. After all you put your body through, the least you can do is allow it adequate rest so you can keep challenging yourself to accomplish great things.