Sleeping Well Benefits Your Health – If you have ever missed out on a night’s sleep, you might probably be aware of its consequences the next day- groggy, tired and grumpy being your mood for the day. Sleep is the first thing that we compromise when we are strapped for time. Often it is advocated that limiting your sleep time is bound to maximize your output. But, the cost of chronic sleep deprivation is not only restricted to a lack of energy, focus or a cranky mood but also poor physical health. Aside from having profound effects on your mental abilities, physical and professional relationships; consistently spending sleepless nights can have potentially detrimental effects on your physical and emotional well-being in the long run.
Sleep is your body’s natural way to relax, rejuvenate and replenish the chemical balance within. Adequate sleep promotes the healthy functioning of your body by regulating your mood, learning, performance, and memory. Proper sleep plays as important a role in your health as regular exercise and a wholesome diet. Sleep is one of the many parameters to help assess your weight, energy levels, and metabolism. This further necessitates the need to embrace proper sleep to help metamorphose yourself into a healthy individual. An average adult must enjoy around 7-9 hours of consistent sleep every day to reap its benefits.
Let us dive into the various benefits a good night’s sleep can bestow on your health:
1. Sleep is a Natural Stress Buster
Sleeping helps your body relax and de-stress. Sleep and stress are interlinked.
When you are running on a sleep deficit, your body releases stress hormones which in turn may elevate the risk of high blood pressure, stress and heart diseases. As documented by a study, individuals suffering from insomnia (a sleeping disorder) are 10 times likely to suffer from depression. Another 2017 study conducted on 181 participants found that out of the 44 people suffering from depression, 41 suffered from mild to severe forms of a sleeping disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleeping appropriately helps your body to stay calm, keeps your stress levels regulated and prevents the incidence of stress-induced health problems.
2. Sleep Improves Your Concentration and Brain Function
Sleep is fundamental to the functional aspect of the brain. When you haven’t slept properly, you might find difficulties in performing better. Poor slumber is related to an impaired brain function to such an extent that it affects your emotional and mental well-being.
Sleep deprivation derails your concentration, kills your productivity, disrupts your creative acumen, harms your problem-solving abilities, and judgments.
A study states that the effects of sleep deprivation are similar to that of alcohol intoxication. Another study found that better sleep quality helped enhance problem-solving abilities and memory retention in children.
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3. Adequate Sleep Helps Your Body to Repair Itself
Sleeping adequately helps your body to rejuvenate by producing molecules required to repair the damages induced by physical and chemical stresses within the system such as cellular damage, and inflammation. It also helps rev up your immunity levels to combat foreign invasions.
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4. Enough Sleep Reduces the Risk of Developing Diseases
Research suggests that sleeping inadequately may increase the risk of developing various disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and medical conditions including those of the heart and immune system.
Enough shut-eye can help keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels stabilized. This is necessary to keep your blood vessels and heart in a healthy state. A study established that poor sleeping is related to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack or stroke.
A study highlights that sleeplessness is known to induce weight gain by stimulating your appetite. Sleeping less disrupts the levels of the appetite-regulating hormones. Also, the feeling of lethargy that accompanies a drowsy person prevents him from engaging in any form of physical activity. This increased urge to eat coupled with a reduced tendency to exercise leads to weight gain eventually leading to being overweight and obese.
Another study suggests that individuals sleeping less than 6 hours in a row are prone to a risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Although diabetes is incurable, sleeping adequately can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Proper sleep helps keep your immune system healthy and hearty. That is why it is often advised to take proper rest during colds and coughs to ensure a speedy recovery. According to a study, short sleep durations preceding microbial invasions may be linked to an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Another study conducted in 2013 found that reducing sleep time resulted in the production of compounds that were reported to be associated with allergies and asthma.
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Considering the influence of sleep on a person’s health one must never undermine its importance. Having said that, along with proper diet and exercise a person must observe good sleep behavior to achieve an optimal state of physical, emotional and mental well-being.