As a baby, you couldn’t help but do it. As a teenager, it’s the last thing you wanted to do. As an adult, you envy people who get more of it than you!

When you begin your journey at Scranton MMA, a lot starts to change about you. You start caring more about your physical health. You try to train more often, eat a little healthier, ankd drink more water. Doing all these things is a sure way to improve your health, but it’s possible you could be missing out on a huge factor: sleep!

A lot of people don’t realize that sleep is just as important to your health as regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Sleep is involved in numerous bodily functions and maintainer processes in the body. Some of the processes include cell repair, hormone balance, and immune system strength.

Cellular Repair

You may have noticed that after a good night’s sleep, you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. But have you ever thought about why you feel so refreshed? It is because while you sleep, the cells in your body are regenerating and repairing themselves. Throughout the day, we are constantly moving and shaking (and training!). This constant movement physically breaks down the cells of our muscles and organ systems. Fortunately, while we sleep our body releases growth hormone, a hormone that stimulates cellular repair. Thanks to sleep, we can spar round after round and still wake up the next day repaired and rejuvenated!

Hormone Balance

As mentioned before, our body releases hormones while we sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, the balance gets thrown off. Some important hormones involved in hunger are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that signals your body that it is hungry. Leptin does that opposite, telling you you’re full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of ghrelin increase and your levels of leptin decrease. If you’re not sleeping enough, you feel hungrier which prompts you to eat more. Overeating can cause weight gain. So, to keep your hormones in check and control your appetite, get more sleep!

Immune Strength

Your immune system is an army of different types of cells that fight off anything it doesn’t recognize as itself. When an invader is recognized, special cells emit a protein called interleukins. The job of interleukins is to signal more immune cells to come to the area to attack the invader. A large amount of interleukins is emitted when we sleep. Without enough sleep, there is an insufficient amount of the protein. This means if there’s an invader, the immune army isn’t strong enough to fight it off. The end result is illness, which could put you out of commission for days. Most of us can’t afford to take days off, so get your sleep and stay healthy!

How much sleep do we need?

Now you know why you need more sleep. But how much do we actually need? According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults ages 18-64 need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re getting less sleep than that per night, you could run into some health problems as mentioned above.

So, the next time you’re up late watching TV instead of going to bed, remember how important it is to your health. Make better choices today and it will positively affect your health in the future. You’re already off to a good start by training at Scranton MMA and making better food choices. Now you just need to sleep more, and you’ll be the healthiest person you know!