Get Your Zzzzzs
While scrimping on sleep every once in a while probably won't hurt, regular sleep deprivation can quickly spiral into an unhealthy habit.
Dr Talbott explains that "the body perceives the sleep loss as a 'stress,' which increases levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which interferes with insulin function, which means blood sugar regulation is compromised, which leads to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which lead to changes in appetite (most notable is a craving for sweets and junk food), which leads to abdominal weight gain (specifically abdominal fat, not in other areas of the body)."
Whew! The bottom line is, without enough sleep, you could be at risk for a variety of problems, including obesity and diabetes.
Although insufficient sleep causes stress, your body will learn to cope -- or at least convince you that it's coping. Don't be fooled.
"Without enough sleep, you are physically run-down, your immune system is compromised, you do not want to do anything, you get depressed and feel out of sorts," says Dr. Steve Rosenberg, a psychotherapist based in Pennsylvania. "This stress makes you suffer with a poor respiratory function and heart rate," Good habits are just as hard to break as bad habits.
So, setting yourself up for success means finding a steady sleep rhythm. Dr. Rosenberg recommends the following tips for establishing a healthy sleep habit: