Skip To Main Content

COVID-19 Updates and Resources. Learn More

2010 Resolution; Grow Young While You Sleep!

December 28, 2009

What if there was something you could do that would dramatically improve your health, help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and possibly help prevent cancer? Well there is. And it’s so easy you can do it in bed!

With all the talk this time of year about developing new health habits, one that gets consistently overlooked is proper sleep. We often forget that proper sleep is one of the most health producing, life enhancing habits you can possibly develop. Yet in our overworked, over committed, overstressed society, we rarely do it. And the health consequences are enormous.

In a list of the 15 things most likely to extend life published in Forbes Magazine, no less than one third of them had to do with either sleep or stress management. It’s not surprising when you consider what takes place when you sleep deeply and restfully for an uninterrupted seven or eight hours. For one thing, feel good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine are replenished. For another, important hormones like human growth hormone and melatonin are secreted.

Why should we care? Consider this. In a study that followed more than 68,000 US women for 16 years, researchers at Harvard found that those who caught more zzz’s each night tended to put on less weight during middle-age. Women who clocked only 5 hours of sleep were more likely to have a substantial weight gain- 33 pounds, in fact- than those who got a full 7 hours a night. And sleep-deprived women were more likely to become obese as they grow older.

It’s not just appetite control and metabolism that are affected by sleep, however. Under-sleeping is a strong stressor for the human body, resulting in the overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol have been shown to age important areas of the brain like the region responsible for memory. High levels of cortisol are also associated with fat deposits, particularly around the waist.

Then there’s cancer. While you’re sleeping, your body produces a wonderful hormone called melatonin, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In one fascinating study published in Cancer Research, experimenters drew blood from three groups of people who had different levels of melatonin in their blood. They then exposed these various blood specimens to both human breast cancers and rat liver cancers. Exposure to melatonin-rich blood suppressed the rate at which the cancer cells multiplied!

During deep restful sleep, you also produce an important hormone called HGH (human growth hormone). This hormone makes it easier to put on muscle and to lose fat, and is also believed to have a positive effect on our energy and our libido, as well as the youthfulness of our skin. Imagine- sleep as the ultimate anti-aging drug! And it’s free!

So why not start the year by adding a resolution to getting adequate sleep?

The health dividends will be enormous. And your body will love you for it.

Happy 2010! Make it a great year!

Register with Atkins today for additional tips, low carb recipes, and ideas on how to overcome your weight loss plateau.

More From Colette

What Is The Ketotarian Diet?

The Ketotarian Diet is a high-fat, moderate protein and very low carb eating plan that eliminates meat and dairy and focuses on plant-based sources of fat and protein.

Read More »

How to Do a Low Carb Detox, Plus, 8 Low Carb Detox Recipes

It’s time for a fresh start! Are you ready to cleanse your system of all those holiday goodies, take-out food and all the other binge eating while you were binge watching in 2020? A low carb lifestyle naturally detoxes your system of sugar and refined carbs by focusing on fiber-rich vegetables, protein and healthy fats found in nourishing, nutrient-rich light meals like soups, salads and smoothies, and here’s why I know.

Read More »

This Year’s Resolution: Move Past the “Diet” Mindset!

A global study shows what we may have suspected: During the pandemic, many of us ate more junk food, exercised less, were more anxious and slept less.

Read More »

Low Carb Recipes for a Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebration

You’ve probably never been happier to welcome the new year, and while your New Year’s Eve party may be located on your couch instead of in a club, you can still ring in 2021 with delicious low carb finger foods, savory bites and festive cocktails.

Read More »

FAQs

Have more low carb questions? We've got the answers!

Learn More »
FAQs

Free Tools

Access meal plans, carb counters, discussion boards, and more.

Learn More »
Free Tools

FAQs

Have more low carb questions? We've got the answers!

Learn More »
FAQs

Free Tools

Access meal plans, carb counters, discussion boards, and more.

Learn More »
Free Tools

This site uses essential cookies to function. It also uses non-essential cookies for marketing and advertising. For more information please see ourPrivacy Policy.

This site uses essential cookies to function. It also uses non-essential cookies for marketing and advertising. For more information please see ourPrivacy Policy.

Close button