I’m a bit sleepy today. I’m on call this week which means our customers can wake me up to deal with problems (I write software for the TV Broadcast industry and if something goes wrong TV channels can go off air), and it seems a lot of different systems had problems last night, so all in all I’ve had about 2hrs sleep.
And this is how I feel.
Psalm 127:2 says
“In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
So the Bible thinks that sleep is good for us, and we aren’t to deprive ourselves of it. But what happens when we do?
One study (here) shows that cortisol levels are elevated the evening after a night of little sleep. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland and released in response to stress. According to Wikipedia:
“Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism”
Another study (which I’ve lost the link for. Sorry!) indicates that raised levels of cortisol may lead to increased insulin resistance and increased appetite. This is probably due to the increased blood sugar as mentioned in the Wikipedia quote. So in the long run, loss of sleep could contribute towards weight gain.
Okay, so you’re tired (well I am anyway) because you’ve missed out on sleep, the one thing most of us do in this case is get a cup of the black wake up juice. But is this the best thing we can do? An interesting article (here) talks about coffee and it’s benefits and risks. It seems that although caffeine can raise our cortisol (again!), it only does this transiently so if we drink it in the morning (when our cortisol is naturally high), then we get away with it provided we aren’t too sensitive or have high blood pressure.
All in all when it comes down to it, sleep is one of the best things we can do if we want to lose or simply manage our weight. I wonder if my boss will let me take a nap?