Sleep is just as important as food and water for human survival. Everyone needs six to nine hours of sleep every night to keep their mind and body functioning to the best of their abilities. The number of hours may differ from one person to another, but getting quality sleep regularly is imperative for everyone. Poor sleep habits can contribute to many health problems, including hypertension and an increased risk of obesity.
This article will explore the benefits of good sleep and how you can improve your sleeping habits to wake up rested and refreshed.
What are the Health Benefits of Good Sleep?
Sleep is integral to good health and lifestyle. Here is a look at the various benefits of sleeping well every night –
- Brain Processing – When we sleep, our brain consolidates our memories to improve our ability to recall something when needed. Sleep is vital for brain processing when our mind locks memories in, regulates emotions, and recharges for the next day. If we don’t sleep enough, we may find remembering things learned the previous day difficult. Lack of sleep can also make us feel irritable and moody. In comparison, a well-rested brain works at its highest capacity for concentration and productivity.
- Affects Emotions and Social Interactions – If you don’t sleep enough, you may find it difficult to control emotional outbursts and be vulnerable to meltdowns. It’s harder to control your behaviour, respond to humour and be empathetic if you are not well-rested. Those who sleep less than six hours regularly start withdrawing from social events and begin to experience loneliness. Sleep deprivation can be the first step to mental health issues.
- Can Maximize Athletic Performance – People who pursue professional athletics need proper sleep as much as they need diet and exercise. Establishing a routine of sleeping well daily can enhance athletic performance and improve concentration for sportspersons. Research has shown that the benefits of a good night’s sleep improves fine and gross motor skills. It also helps alert your mind for sharper reflexes, better problem-solving skills, and higher muscular endurance.
- Tissue Repair – As mentioned above, sleep is a time for your body to restore its strength and repair the damage of the day. Your body releases essential hormones and proteins to repair damaged tissues and muscles while you sleep. Athletes who pursue rigorous physical activities throughout the day need good quality sleep at night to build muscle and recover from their workout. Therefore, it is recommended that everyone should choose a good quality orthopedic mattress. Orthopedic mattresses complement the natural restoration by providing optimal spinal alignment and cushioning for pressure points. This, in turn, allows the body to focus on efficient tissue repair and muscle recovery, making it an essential component of the athlete's toolkit for maintaining peak physical health.
- Immune System Functioning – There are various health benefits of sleep, including immunity. While we sleep, our body releases cytokines. It is an essential protein to help the body reduce inflammation anywhere in the body. Those who sleep well are less likely to catch colds, coughs, and other viral infections.
- May Help You Maintain or Lose Weight – Weight loss goals are essential to many people. However, diet and exercise cannot help you lose weight if you are sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep increases the hormone ghrelin and decreases the leptin level in the human body. Ghrelin helps us feel hungry, while leptin helps us feel full. Therefore, sleeping less can make you hungrier than usual – resulting in overeating. Besides, if you sleep less at night, you may not have the energy to work out the following day.
- Affects Sugar Metabolism and Increases the Risk of Type II Diabetes – Sleeping less than five or six hours increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in everyone. It can make you develop insulin resistance and hamper the sugar metabolism in your body. Not to forget, sleep deprivation increases the possibility of obesity, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. These conditions may also trigger type 2 diabetes.
- Potential to Live Longer – Too much or too little sleep may be connected to shorter lifespans. Experts have found that oversleeping or sleep deprivation can trigger chronic diseases that threaten the possibility of a long life.
Not getting six to nine hours of sleep can negatively affect your overall health. Reducing screen time, sticking to a sleep schedule, and getting enough exercise can help you get the right amount of sleep every night. Invest in a good quality mattress and make your bedroom as comfortable as possible to improve your sleep quality. Just like you prioritise your diet and physical activity, it’s time to realise the importance of sleep for health.
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