Paleo for night time: The Science of Sleep 0

09.03.2015

Share

Paleo for night time: The Science of Sleep

The benefits of a Paleo lifestyle are becoming more apparent but there is now evidence that it has more to offer than simply controlling just what we eat - how we rest is just as important. Current studies by a number of eminent institutions are finding increasing proof that we need to be mindful of our sleeping habits as well as when we are awake for a healthy life.

In short, our performance and abilities during the day are governed to a large extent by our sleep patterns, and whilst this might appear obvious, current models show that it is more far reaching than previously thought, and liable to produce long-term mental degradation.

Chronic sleep-loss investigations have shown that even apparently insignificant amounts of sleep loss leads to damage and permanent loss of locus coeruleus neurons (brain cells), and that can lead to significant changes to alertness and ability to function properly with time. A recent article published in the Journal of Neuroscience has identified that sleep deprivation can have a startling impact on the deacetylase sirtuin type 3 enzymes. Lack of proper rest inhibits the enzyme’s ability to coordinate energy production at a cellular level, leading to oxidative injury from which the cells cannot fully recover. Plainly, not getting sufficient sleep in the short term is worrying enough, but now evidence suggests that it has much greater long-term implications too. Several studies have shown that laboratory specimens denied sleep, deteriorate fast, and die within a couple of weeks!

While that might be alarming enough, a lack of decent sleep can also lead to a number of other physiological problems, such as;

  • Hormonal shifts.

  • Sugar-handling problems and associated weight gain.

  • Heightened cortisol levels.

  • Decreased regenerative powers.

  • Premature cell aging.

If we can include sleep as part of a healthy disposition, then we are more likely to achieve an overall feeling of wellbeing. Improving both the amount and the length of sleep that you can achieve will promote many positive aspects in your body. Getting sufficient sleep will;

  • Enhance mental clarity and both short and long term memory.

  • Improve mental and sports performance.

  • Alleviate your mood and increase system energy – remember, sleep is natures anti-depressant.

  • Give a boost to your immune system.

  • Increase your ability to handle stress.

Many of the problems we associate with modern living can be combatted by having enough rest time, and scientists are also finding links with what are regarded as modern health issues. Chronic fatigue, random inflammations, type 2 diabetes, and the growing problem of cardiovascular disease are all heightened when a subject is experiencing a lack of sleep, and with all of those issues growing and placing huge strains on healthcare systems, preventing them is a major goal.

While some may argue that sleep is essentially seven to nine hours of doing nothing, there is increasing evidence to show that not getting enough will be hugely damaging to you in the long term and there is plenty to be gained.

Share

Add comment