In praise of sleep

Elevated cortisol and hormonal imbalance

Sleep deprivation is negative stress for our body, and sufferers are likely to wake up with elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. When cortisol levels are high, it has a cascading effect on several other hormones in our body, including insulin, thyroxine, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and many more. Hormones never work in isolation. They work in an orchestra. So, if levels of one rise, levels of several hormones rise and fall as well. If you are sleep-deprived, you are likely to have a hormonal imbalance which makes losing fat an uphill task.

High inflammation

Obesity is an inflammatory condition. The more sleep-deprived we are, the more inflammation exists in our bodies. Now, one can have curcumin supplements to suppress inflammation, but if sleep-deprived, do you think your body needs curcumin or just sleep?

Compromised body’s intelligence

Our bodies are intricately designed to regulate weight, so if you’re struggling with excess fat, it is worth examining what might be compromising your body’s innate intelligence. When working with individuals on fat loss, we consider more than just dietary factors; we delve into mechanisms such as angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the body’s ability to grow new blood vessels, a process crucial for growth from infancy to adulthood. Ideally, angiogenesis ceases once organs reach maturity, but in some cases, it can lead to abnormalities like the growth of extra fingers due to uncontrolled angiogenesis. In the context of fat loss, we focus on angiogenesis because it contributes to the supply of blood to fat cells.

However, sleep presents a significant challenge to this intricate process of innate intelligence. Sleep is a necessity. It is a basic human need. If it was useless, why would it be a part of our lives?

Fix your sleep. It is non-negotiable.

Coutinho is an integrative lifestyle expert

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