Feature Image by Tracey Hocking

We get it – from newborn babies to playing catch-up at work or school, life’s demands can sometimes push sleep to the wayside. In fact, according to Dr. Josh Axe, founder of Ancient Nutrition, an estimated 100 million Americans aren’t getting the full eight hours of sleep per night. To put that into perspective, that’s about one in three people.

“Sleep has a cumulative effect on health,” adds naturopathic doctor Saman Faramarzi. “If you’re losing sleep, it will eventually catch up with you, [affecting your] weight, immune health, and appetite.” But that’s not all. Faramarzi shares five reasons why sleep is essential for your overall health.

Detoxes your body and brain
When you’re sleeping, your body expels the buildup of toxins from your system via the lymphatic system for the body and the glymphatic system for the brain. “The lymphatic system pumps cerebral spinal fluid through your brain’s tissues [and] back into your body’s circulatory system where [toxins] can be eliminated through the liver,” says Faramarzi.

Regulates stress hormones
“When we’re under stress, we produce too much cortisol, which disrupts the sleep cycle,” explains Faramarzi. To combat high cortisol levels, quality rest is key. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, we recommend the BareOrganics® Ashwagandha Root as it supports the body’s natural response to stress.

Helps you maintain a healthy weight
Turns out, imbalanced cortisol levels is also connected to weight gain – particularly stubborn fat gains in the midsection and belly area, according to Faramarzi. As mentioned above, when you sleep, your body naturally goes through a detoxing process and produces less cortisol, thus helping you maintain a healthy weight.

Keeps your immune system strong
“Our immune system is dependent on our sleep and the circadian rhythm,” shares Faramarzi. When you’re awake, the immune system fights off germs and repairs damaged tissues; when you’re asleep, it prioritizes healing. “When you’re sleep-deprived, the immune system keeps producing cytokines that induce inflammatory responses. It’s like having a chronic, low-grade inflammation throughout the body, which leads to immunodeficiency.”

Regulates your appetite
“When you’re sleep-deprived, your satiation hormone leptin falls while your hunger hormone ghrelin rises,” explains Faramarzi. “When you get a good night’s sleep, your body can better regulate your hunger, so you aren’t constantly craving food that’s high in sugar and fat.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team