Opinion: Take Steroids…in Your Sleep

You ever had a day full of stress? A day that seemed like it couldn’t get any worse? You felt so tired that all you could think about was going home and going to sleep. Yet when you got home, you procrastinated and stayed up to catch up on your favorite shows. Before you know it, you finally fall asleep, but the next morning feels about as bad as the previous one.

How many of us repeat this process all week? This is a habit most of us fall into, and it all begins with that one late night that resulted in 4-5 hours of sleep where you stayed up because you couldn’t get off your phone or away from your favorite Netflix shows. Just one more episode, you say! Before you know it you’re only going to get 4-5 hours of sleep. The days go so slow, but the nights go too fast.

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for overall health and wellness, and often times it is the one factor that we have the most control over. It is when the majority of the recovery and repair processes your body goes through happens. Improvement of cognition, parasympathetic function, reduction of inflammation, and even major psycho-somatic responses occur with more sleep.

Unfortunately, sleep is also easy to take for granted. New studies by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have found that males as young as 24 had a 10-15% reduction in testosterone levels if they slept less than 5 hours per night. That’s like aging 10 years in a week’s time. Low testosterone levels are associated with reduced well-being and vigor, so that low energy you feel could be a result of low testosterone and little sleep.

The viscous cycle of fat gain, cardiovascular disease, and injury are all byproducts of late nights and early mornings. When you don’t get enough sleep, days feel super long and difficult; and low testosterone and your physical well-being has a lot to do with it. A quick fix is as simple as getting a restful night; it’s almost like taking testosterone while you’re asleep. Even starting with 15-30 minutes extra will result in more energy and enhanced performance. The fountain of youth is right here; you just need to sleep on it.

by Ross Curtis