Insights from Sacramento Doctor
Guest post by Dr. Hilary Taglio
If you are not seeing results while being consistent with your diet and exercise routine, perhaps you need to improve your sleep patterns to help you succeed with your fitness goals. The important role that sleep plays in cell repair and hormonal balance is often taken for granted and overlooked.
It is possible that higher quality of sleep can help you gain more muscle and lose fat.
Scientific Studies on Sleep Habits
Experimental studies have shown that consistent, high quality sleep is incredibly important in maintaining a healthy endocrine and metabolic system. Poor sleep has been shown to impair energy balance and carbohydrate tolerance, similar to that observed in people with glucose intolerance (indicating a possible risk for diabetes).
Sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones leptin and ghrelin, both responsible for increased hunger and diminished satiety. Sleep deprivation is significantly associated with weight loss resistance, obesity and chronic diseases (1,2). In addition, you don’t want to miss out on the muscle-building hormones that peak to their highest levels while you sleep.
Researchers from John Carroll University studied the effects of continuous dark versus continuous light exposure on a group of animals. The animals that had been exposed to light for 24 hours had significantly more visceral adipose tissue, lower levels of activity, demonstrated extreme irritability and were easily excited (3).
In another study published in Physiological Research, researchers found that optimal body weight was strongly associated with individuals who maintained seven hours of sleep each night.
Keep in mind, however, the more intense and frequent your training is, the more sleep and repair you will most likely need to recover properly.
Real Cause of Sleep Disturbance
If you are having trouble sleeping, you may have an underlying illness. Many people suffer from chronic sleep problems which can lead to constant anxiety, but may attribute this to “stress” at work or home. It is not typical for emotional stressors to cause other symptoms, like:
- abrupt mood changes
- digestive issues
- debilitating anxiety and fatigue
- panic attacks
- brain fog
These things, coupled with sleep trouble and anxiety, could indicate that you are dealing with a neurotoxic illness and/or your intestinal microbiome is not healthy. If these symptoms are familiar, nothing else has helped you, and you are looking for natural solutions, you may consider chiropractic care to balance your nervous system and/or proper cellular detoxification to heal your tissues as well as balance your hormones and micro-biome.
Please feel free to call our office, I am always happy to answer questions you may have and be a resource for you.
1. Essent Psychopharmacol. 2005;6(6):341-7.
2. Rev Med Chil. 2011 Jul;139(7):932-40. doi: /S0034-98872011000700017.
3. Nutritional Neuroscience Vol. 12 , Iss. 5,2009.