*pix Delightful sleep – a nightly gift to yourself.
Sleep deprivation is a controversial subject in our sleep deprived culture where people take pride in how few hours sleep they need a night. But the jury is back with the verdict. Sleep deprivation does a lot more than make you fat.
As an eating disorder recovery specialist and an advocate for health I firmly support getting eight hours sleep a night.
Quality sleep patterns will not cure an eating disorder. However, many symptoms of an eating disorder will decrease when your mind and body are sleep nourished.
- Levels of anxiety go down.
- Your thinking is more clear.
- Your cravings for carbohydrates, sugar and fat subside.
- You are more able to focus on genuine priorities including your eating disorder recovery.
Skipping just one night of adequate sleep kills brain cells.
Prolonged sleep deprivation
- hurts your body
- impairs your mental functioning
- makes you fat Inadequate sleep creates craving for carbohydrates, sugar and fat.
Also prolonged sleep deprivation makes you susceptible to
- memory loss
- and eventually, will kill you.
Plus, sleep deprivation ravages your beauty with lines, puffiness, dark circles under your eyes and gray pallor.
Sleep deprivation will cost you dollars if you add up the real costs of:
- forgetting where papers or objects are or scheduled appointments or necessary tasks.
- fixing your car and other objects that break from accidents caused by drowsiness.
- fixing your body when you’ve suffered accidents caused by drowsiness.
- buying make-up, skin creams, hair conditioners to make up for cellular breakdown.
- diet programs to try to counter the biological imperative, i.e. lack of sleeps triggers need for high energy food.
If you are not getting the energy supplies you need from sleep then your body will send you to an energy source that is available – food that turns into energy fast, like carbs, fat and sugar. It’s a quick way to gain weight and no diet program can compete with a biological imperative.
For health or vanity or sanity or memory or financial considerations, please fight the sleep deprivation system. Your eating disorder recovery depends on it. When you are sleep deprived you can’t help but sabotage your recovery work.
Change your priorities and get your needed eight hours of sleep or more every night. You’ll reap benefits in you energy, thinking, health, relationships and financial situation.
Joanna Poppink, MFT, Los Angeles psychotherapist, author of: Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder.
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