Got sleep?

What is your sleep schedule like?

I used to think that I could stay awake after working the night shift, taking a two-hour nap and then going back for more! What I've learned is that we need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to live healthy lives and so do you!

Nope, it's not just something your Mama told you. It is truth backed by science.

Sleep deprivation has many devastating effects on our bodies:

1. It increases our chances of obesity

2. It decreases the levels of leptin, which is a hormone that signals our brains to alert us that we are full after eating(this can lead us to add more than 300 extra calories a day to our diets)

3. It also causes a surge in ghrelin which is a hormone that stimulates appetite and fat storage.

4. It affects the area of our brain involved with impulse control. (ever wonder why your kids are crazy the next day after a poor night sleep?)

5. Lack of sleep strains your immune system leaving you prone to illness.

6. Lack of sleep doubles your risk for cancer

7. Lack of sleep increases your risk of Alzheimer's (the after-hours brain cleaning crew cannot clear out the plaques if we do not sleep)

8. After being awake for 19 hours, the body functions as though it is legally intoxicated. (college students; cramming is like going to your test drunk)

9. It increases our chances of suffering from depression

10. It also causes high blood pressure and heart disease

11. Lack of sleep affects the memory center of the brain as well.

We were made to build time to rest and sleep into our lives. It's not just a good idea but a necessity.

What steps do you need to take to develop a healthy sleep routine?