8 Health Benefits of Sleep- This is Why You Should Get More Sleep
Sleeping is an important activity. You shouldn’t miss sleeping. In fact, lack of adequate sleep can result in one’s health damage. It’s seemingly a strange thing. We all need it. But, most people struggle to fight it. But, enough sleep will enable you to feel better. Furthermore, it’ll help reduce stress. Sleep is essential to being happy and healthy. It’s even beneficial for weight loss, weight control, and cardiovascular health.
Getting adequate sleep ought to be part of your healthy lifestyle. It offers tremendous benefits, both for your body’s internal and external parts. One might find it possible to function with just less sleep. But, adults particularly require 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
You might feel ‘fine’ with just 4 hours of shuteye. But, that doesn’t imply that it isn’t impacting your mind, body, and health. In fact, 1-2 hours of less sleep in a night will make a considerable difference in your functioning. That’s the same for performance. Over time, it can prove detrimental to your health. Below, we discuss several health benefits of sleeping:
1. It Curbs Unhealthy Cravings
Most people tend to get 5-7 hours of sleep each night. But, experts caution that that number ought to be somewhere closer to 8, instead. Fewer hours will make your body sleep-deprived chronic-wise. As a result, your body will perceive that sleep loss as a ‘stress.’ In turn, it elevates levels of stress hormones. For example, increased levels of cortisol will interfere with how insulin functions. That will compromise blood sugar regulation. As such, you’ll crave more junk food and sweets. Increased appetite for various unhealthy snacks will put you at risk for certain conditions. Such include diabetes, obesity, and abdominal weight gain. You’d not want that, would you?
2. It helps Improve Memory
Adequate amounts of sleep will, in fact, contribute to improving your memory. As well, they’ll help improve awareness and creativity. While sleeping, the body efficiently repairs neurons in the brain’s cerebral cortex. That’s often related to improving our concentration and memory. You’ll notice that you’ve got better reasoning skills.
As well, you’ll experience improvements in attention to detail and problem solving. You’ll have higher ability to retain information. While asleep, your brain stays busy reinforcing memories and all things which you’ve learned. So, ensure to get adequate amounts of sleep. It’ll maintain and improve your memory and creativity, too.
3. It’ll Improve Your Energy Levels
This fact is quite obvious but worth noting. Acquiring adequate sleep guarantees you improved energy, endurance, as well as vitality. In fact, many weight loss experts concur with this point. In turn, you’ll be able to perform to the best of your energy and ability while at work. Also, it’ll improve your performance during workouts.
4. Enough Sleep will Repair and Rebuild your Body Cells
While sleeping, your body repairs and rebuilds its cells much more efficiently. In turn, that helps strengthen your immune system. It’ll contribute significantly towards fighting sicknesses and diseases. Adequate sleep prepares your body to fight off bacteria, viruses, and germs. For that reason, it’s imperative that you ensure to acquire enough sleep.
5. It Helps Prevent Illnesses
Enough sleep won’t just ensure that you maintain a healthy weight. But, it’ll also contribute to protecting you against various medical illnesses. Often, sleep deprivation is derived from untreated sleep disorders. Such include snoring and sleep apnea. They can lead to serious medical illnesses like heart failure and high blood pressure.
6. It Helps Fight Depression
Without enough sleep, your mind and body are more stressed. Getting adequate amount of sleep is definite to improve your mood. But, insomnia increases one’s risk for anxiety and depression. But, note that there’s something as too much sleep. For example, individuals who’re depressed might sleep 12 hours or more in one night.
7. It Helps Improve Weight Control
A direct link exists between inadequate sleep and obesity. Yes, there’s a myriad of reasons behind obesity. But, the hormone leptin is among the most significant. It lets your body aware when you’re full. Inadequate sleep makes your body produce lesser leptin than usual. As a result, you’ll tend to overeat, thinking you’re not yet full. But, enough sleep ensures that your body produces leptin. In turn, you’ll not eat excessively. Also, you’ll be able to control your weight.
8. More and Better Sex
Fatigue is among the top reasons couples in long term relationships barely have sex. Enough sleep is just the right solution. Granted that it’ll increase energy levels, it’ll thus liven up things under those sheets. 7-8 hours of sleep will contribute a lot towards your sex experience. Be your hero and ensure to acquire enough shuteye each night. The results are definite to amaze you.
How Much Is Adequate Sleep?
The particular amount of sleep you require each day changes over the course of one’s life. But, sleep needs tend to vary from one individual to another. 16-18 hours each day is recommended for newborns. Children who’re preschool-aged ought to get over 11 hours of sleep each day. Those that are school-aged should sleep for over 10 hours each day. Teenagers ought to sleep for 9-10 hours each day. But, for adults, it’s recommended that they get 7-8 hours of sleep daily. When talking about adults, that’s inclusive of the elderly.
Some people, often, nap to help deal with sleepiness. Yes, naps might provide a little boost in performance and alertness. But, they don’t provide all the other benefits of an entire nighttime sleep. Other people tend to sleep more on their days off. Say you’re among that kind. Then, that’s a clear signal that you’re not getting adequate sleep.
Extra sleep on your days off might make you feel better. But, it’ll upset your body’s sleep ‘n’ wake rhythm. In fact, long-term loss of sleep and bad sleeping habits will have effects on your health. A nicer solution would be to try making use of a sleep diary for several weeks. Jot down how much sleep you get every night, how alert, and rested you feel in the afterward mornings. As well, write down how sleepy you often feel during the daytime. Discuss how you can improve it with your doctor. Also, it’s vital that you sleep when your body’s feeling sleepy.
Sleep deficiency may affect individuals even after they sleep for the recommended duration for their age group. For instance, persons whose sleep is off-sync with their body clocks (like shift workers) or those that are routinely interrupted (like emergency responders) might want to pay close attention to their sleeping needs. In case your job limits your ability to get adequate sleep or sleep at the right time, talking with your doctor would be a wise idea.
What Causes Lack of Sleep?
Sometimes, you’ll find it difficult to sleep even when tired. At other times, you’ll wake up from your deep sleep and lie awake for hours. Insomnia is quite a common issue. It takes a specific toll on one’s health, mood, energy, and ability to function throughout the day. Some serious health problems are as a result of chronic insomnia. But, you need not resign yourself to endless, sleepless nights. Just some simple changes to your daily habits will bring insomnia to an end – without requiring medication.
It’s the inability to get the particular amount of sleep one needs to wake up refreshed and rested. Different individuals want different amounts of sleep. As such, we’d define insomnia by your sleep’s quality, as well as how you feel after you’ve slept. We can’t define it by how many hours one sleeps or how quickly they doze off. It barely matters whether you spend 7 or 8 hours in bed in one night. You could be experiencing insomnia if you feel fatigued or drowsy during the day.
What are the Symptoms of Insomnia?
- Waking up early
- Finding it difficult to fall asleep even when tired
- Finding it difficult to get back to sleep after waking up in the midst of the night
- Not feeling refreshed even after sleeping
- Relying on alcohol or sleeping pills to fall asleep
- Daytime fatigue, irritability, or drowsiness
- Finding it difficult to concentrate during the day
Different Causes of Insomnia
To help resolve your insomnia, you’ll need to become a kind of sleep detective. Anxiety, depression, stress and other emotional issues cause almost half of insomnia cases. But, your bedtime routine, physical health, and daytime habits can also significantly play a role.
Sometimes, insomnia just lasts several days and then goes away. That’s especially so when it’s tied to temporary causes like stress. But, chronic insomnia is often linked to an underlying medical or psychological issue.
- Emotional Distress and Various Psychological Problems: Depression and anxiety are among the most common causes of insomnia. Other reasons include worry, grief, anger, stress, trauma, and bipolar disorder.
- Medical Issues or Illnesses: Some diseases and medical conditions may contribute to insomnia. Such include allergies, acid reflux, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and hyperthyroidism. Others, as well, include cancer and kidney disease. In particular, chronic pain is quite a common cause.
- Medications: Some prescription drugs can interfere with how one sleeps. Such include ADHD stimulants, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, thyroid hormone, and various contraceptives. Also, there are several OTC culprits, including alcohol-containing cold and flu medications, caffeine-containing pain relievers (Excedrin, Midol), slimming pills, and diuretics.
- Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, by itself, is a sleep disorder. As well, it can be a symptom of various other sleep disorders. Such include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. Also, there are circadian rhythm disturbances which are tied to late-night or shift work or jet lag.
Causes You Might Overlook
It’s imperative that you identify all the possible causes of your insomnia. That’s inclusive of all things you do during the daytime. These causes are entirely within your power to overcome.
- Do you make use of a computer, smartphone or tablet, play video games, or watch TV while in bed?
- Secondly, do you follow an irregular sleeping schedule?
- Do you take caffeinated beverages (tea, soda, coffee) within 8 hours of bedtime?
- Do you eat or exercise late in the evenings?
- Is your sleeping environment uncomfortable, noisy, or too bright?
In case emotional or medical problems contribute to your insomnia, you first ought to treat them. Also, change any daytime habits or bedtime routines which could be disrupting your sleep.
What Happens If You Don’t Sleep?
Most probably, you’ve experienced the fatigue, lack of focus, and short temper which result from a poor night’s sleep. Often, a night without sleep leaves you feeling tired and irritable the following day. But, that won’t harm your health yet. The mental effects will turn out more critical after multiple sleepless nights. In particular, your brain will fog. It’ll thus prove difficult to make decisions and concentrate.
You’ll be feeling down. Besides, you might even fall asleep during the day. Also, it increases your risk of accidents and injury at work, on the road, and at home. Lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Besides, it’ll make your body prone to several serious medical conditions. Such include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
How Can You Get Adequate Sleep?
Below, we include tips which will enable you to get more quality sleep:
- Design a routine. Try getting to bed 30 minutes earlier. Or, set a bedtime and ensure to follow it strictly. Such will get your body used to a set schedule.
- Relax before heading to bed. Turn that television off. Take some time off for yourself before going to bed. You could opt to meditate. Or, you can relax with some good book. It’ll help reset your brain. As well, it’ll get you into sleep mode.
- Cut out that caffeine! It keeps you alert. It’s best for when you’re beginning the day. Cut out caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. In turn, it’ll make sure that you get an excellent, restful night’s sleep.
- Avoid alcohol whenever possible! Sometimes, people think that having an alcoholic drink before bedtime will make them sleepy. But, its effects are notably short-lived. Often, you’ll awake some hours later. In fact, you might find it difficult to fall back asleep once you wake up.
- Take high-protein snacks before heading to bed. They contain L-tryptophan. That’s what your body precisely needs to process serotonin and melatonin.
- Remove electronics, like computers and TVs, from your bedroom.
- Avoid making use of blue-light devices for the 30 minutes before bedtime. For example, refrain from using laptops, smartphones, or tablets during that time.
- Opt to engage yourself in several deep breathing activities right before bedtime. Or, you can stretch and do yoga. Such will help improve your sleep’s quality.
Developing an Ultimate Bedtime Routine
It isn’t just the things you do during daytime which affect your sleep’s quality. As well, what you do to prepare your body and mind for sleep is worth consideration. First, ensure that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. Things like heat, noise, and light may interfere with your sleep. You can try making use of earplugs or a sound machine to prevent noise from the outside.
A fan or an open window will help keep your bedroom cool. Besides, sleep masks or blackout curtains will help block out light. Also, you ought to avoid stressful situations and stimulating activities right before bedtime. Such include considerable discussions, working, and vigorous exercise. Rather, you should focus on quiet activities which are yet soothing. You can decide to do some reading or knitting. Or, you can listen to some soft music, but ensuring to keep the lights low.
If possible, turn off all screens 60 minutes before bed. The light that’s emitted from tablets, smartphones, computers, and TVs would suppress your production of melatonin in your body. In turn, such will severely disrupt your sleep’s quality. Listen to a podcast instead.
Sleep is Important!
How you feel while awake partly depends on what happens when you’re asleep. While asleep, your body is often working to maintain your physical health. As well, it works to support healthy brain functioning. Also, it contributes towards growth and development in children and teenagers. It plays a vital role in your life’s health and wellbeing. Getting adequate quality sleep will help protect your physical and mental health, safety, and quality of life.