Sleep is one of the most important bodily functions. Not only is it meant to serve as rest, it is important for recovery and rejuvenation as well. For people of all ages, it’s a maintenance and growth period for the body.

Kids may require more sleep each night, but adults need proper rest as well. Unfortunately, with all the hustle and bustle of adulthood, it can get hard to get your much-needed eight hours. While this is perfectly fine in the short run, it can lead to long-term consequences. Sleep specialists will tell you that prolonged periods of reduced sleep are not sustainable, and they can affect the composition of your body in the long run.

Sleep and Hunger Hormones

Nearly everything we feel—every emotion and impulse—has some to do with a different kind of hormone. When you feel hungry, it is the work of leptin and ghrelin in the body. Leptin is the sensation of fullness, which tells you when to stop eating; ghrelin is the sensation of hunger.

Sleep has been shown to have a connection with these hormones. They’re essential for controlling the basal metabolic rate, which promotes better absorption of nutrients and the burning of fat and calories. When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, ghrelin increases (causing you to eat more) and leptin decreases (fooling you into eating more than you actually need). Sleep specialists have a deep knowledge of these hormones and how proper treatment can help ensure your levels are regulated.

A lack of sleep also reduces the body’s overall energy expenditure. Essentially, the body goes into a low-power mode. This means you’ll be burning fewer calories any time you’re sleep-deprived. For anybody trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy level, this might spell metabolic disaster.

The Development of Lean Muscle Mass

Sleep is essential for the replacement and repair of cells and tissues. The majority of hormones directly related to protein synthesis and muscle growth, like testosterone, are released during slow-wave Stage 3 sleep.

For those hoping to build muscle, it’s important to maximize the time spent in this phase. Even if you’re not hoping to build muscle, quality sleep is still necessary, as a lack of sleep can reduce the testosterone produced by the body. If left unaddressed, you could end up with your muscles breaking down faster than they can repair or grow. Your muscles might begin to atrophy if you don’t get proper exercise, control your nutrition, and get enough sleep.

Sleep and Stress

Another reason to visit a sleep specialist is the relationship between sleep and stress. A lack of sleep forces the body to enter a state of stress, which releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is an important hormone to survival, as it triggers the breakdown of energy stores in the body so that you can survive a dangerous situation.

This does, however, have the unfortunate side effect of possibly breaking down muscle tissues as an energy source. By forcing yourself to function with less sleep, you would be forcing the body to break down its own tissues unnecessarily.

Seek Medical Help

Whether your lack of sleep is caused by your busy schedule, or a physiological condition, the situation remains: you need seven to eight hours of sleep per day. Not only is adequate rest the key to better health, but it’s also the key to body composition and weight management. It might be easy to postpone prioritizing sleep, but a lack of sleep will quickly catch up with you.

Work with a Sleep Study Doctor in Jacksonville, FL

Problems with sleep can be solved with the help of a sleep study doctor in Jacksonville, FL. We at Jacksonville Sleep Center can help. Get the sleep you deserve by contacting us today to book your appointment.