Poor sleep patterns and a deficit in good quality deep sleep combined with high levels of stress is catastrophic for our body and mind.
Deep sleep, Stage 4 in the sleep cycle, is the period when bodies heal, cleanse and repair from the day, week and months prior. The liver functions in overdrive to ‘purify’ the body and mind and prepare us for the next day.
This sleep stage is essential for our body’s relaxation and coping mechanisms.
Insufficient time in this sleep stage is associated with hormone imbalances. This results in night-time alertness and daytime fatigue, irritability and anxiety.
Unfortunately, high levels of cortisol drive cravings for highly sugared, highly fatty foods such as fries and crisps, white bread, chocolate, donuts and soft drinks.
The sleep deprived have a tendency to seek stimulants such as caffeine and white processed sugars to stimulate the energy centres.
Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night.
Stress beyond our individual thresholds causes changes to body chemistry. The balance of hormones changes as does brain signalling messages.
Due to the changes in hormone production and transport, and brain signalling messages, there is a disruption to digestion.
It is extraordinarily taxing on the body and mind to process high levels of stress. As such the body withdraws resources typically allocated to digestion and absorption of food and nutrients in order to modulate the adverse effects of stress to the body.
In doing so, nutrients are not absorbed effectively and gastro upsets such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea subsist.
This is often mistaken for food intolerances.
Individuals with ongoing sleep disruptions and stress tend to consume less fibre and skip breakfast.
Consult your loved ones or seek professional assistance if sleep issues or your anxiety levels have peaked.
Prioritise this now!