So What’s A Little Sleep Deprivation Got to Do With It?

A lot apparently. That’s exactly what’s going on here and boy oh boy does THAT mess you up! I just read an article on sleep deprivation in the IDEA Fitness Journal and was surprised to see that indeed I do suffer from this ailment. (I mean, how could I not right? I have a baby who is getting in his 1 year molars and let me tell you, that looks painful! All swollen and puffy and blue… fun for nobody.) Anyway, this article is quite informative and it goes on to explain all of our sleep cycles (which is very interesting and even though we’ve all known about the REM sleep cycle since we learned about it in high school, it still freaks me out to think that my eyes are rapidly moving in a side to side fashion while I’m dreaming about running from an explosion in what feels like an invisible pool of molasses. Right?)

So there are definite signs of sleep deprivation and its been studied that it can also lead to cardiometabolic disease (and that fancy word means things such as hypertension, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis and abnormal cholesterol to name a few). There could also be an increase in the body’s cortisol secretion which has been shown to stimulate appetite and increase fat deposits… right onto your belly!  If you’re not getting at least 6 hours of sleep at night, it’s stated that YOU have a higher association with these types of maladies. (First off, if someone out there is getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night, my heavens, how are you functioning? I’m a mess if I get anything, even one minute less, than eight hours, no kidding! It’s a well-known fact. There have been multiple studies done on this and the results are always the same: I’m a wretched, agitated, ugly, snippy woman when sleep deprived. Old bosses, friends, my husband… they can all attest to this.)

Needless to say, it would appear that I am currently sleep deprived. How can I be certain you ask? (Besides being snippy, agitated, ugly and wretched?) Well, let me tell you. The first sign of sleep deprivation on the snazzy little chart they have accompanying this article is: reduced ability to cope with stress. Bingo!

Parenting a baby who can’t tell you what they want; stressFUL. Frustration is bountiful on both ends. Tears ultimately emerge from baby and mama and temper tantrums affect all ages. It’s not pretty.

Basically being sleep deprived turns you into a toddler, plain and simple.

Other signs are memory lapses (yup), lack of motivation (all I want to do is watch Bethenny Ever After and lament over the fact that I didn’t come up with a SkinnyGirl drink first. Aaaaaaaaaand that’s why I’m the one on the sofa watching Bethenny go through her day), difficulty concentrating (what am I talking about now?), relying too much on the snooze button (I try to hit it before it goes off again so I can get 18 minutes instead of the usual 9 minutes), irritability and moodiness (Really? That’s a freaking sign… who isn’t moody and irritable? Jacka**!)

Alright, I think you all get the point. I need sleep and if you too are feeling like a toddler, you’re deprived as well. Do your best to get in your 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a night (fat chance if you got a baby!) and if you can’t do it, realize that this too shall pass and one day (too soon) that little baby will be all “growns up.”

(Anyone catch that. “All growns up”…. ‘Swingers’?)

Oh, and this sleep deprivation may also be another reason why your weight loss efforts are not doing the trick. Sleep is that important, for real!

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo