Our sleep and circadian rhythms are involved in nearly every process, system and function in our body. That includes our immune system, cognitive behavior, nervous system resiliency, muscle growth and recovery, and our metabolic system.
But when we push our boundaries of proper rest and restoration (like when you pull an all-nighter or are suffering from jet lag) it sends conflicting messages to the part of our brain and the hormones that help to prepare our body for sleep, leaving our body wondering, “Am I trying to produce hormones needed for sleep, or do you need me to keep producing cortisol to help stay awake?”
You know that feeling when you are so exhausted but your hamster wheel won’t stop turning with the day’s events, and your never-ending to-do list? That’s the “tired-but-wired” side effect of chronically depriving your body of an adequate sleep routine. Keep this pattern up for too long and you will soon begin to feel changes in other areas as well, like increased appetite, more cravings, decreased muscle tone, less efficient training sessions and poor muscle recovery, plus a lowered immune system.
Here are a few simple tips to get off the hamster wheel and hop on the train to Sleepytown: