Sleep is important to your body just as dieting and exercising. Despite its importance in our lives, many people find it difficult sticking to healthy sleep patterns.
Busy lifestyles are also to blame. Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to substitute their projects with sleep. Because of the demands and the pressures of life, most people are now sleeping less than is expected.
Less sleep interferes with your health. This is because your body does not get the quality and quantity of sleep it deserves. Let’s find out why good sleep is beneficial to your health.
1. It increases your concentration and productivity
Quantity and quality of sleep are important for healthy brain functioning. Any reduction in the number of hours meant for quality sleep means your ability to handle day to day tasks that require brain functioning could prove to be a tall order for you.
Sleep helps your brain to function at its best. Some of the aspects of the brain function that sleep can greatly support include your concentration, productivity, cognition and performance.
A study conducted on medical interns revealed how the quality and quantity of sleep is important to your health. When the interns were put on a work routine that went past the 24-hour period, many were found to make significant medical errors.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to having the same negative effects your brain tends to have when under the influence of alcohol. On the contrary, quality sleep has the ability to improves one brain functioning and their problem-solving skills.
2. A lack of good sleep leads to unwanted weight gain
Sleep plays a great role in weight management. If looking to shed some weight, adequate sleep should be part of your routine weight loss program.
If sleeping less, you want to start sleeping more. Inadequate sleep has been discovered to be one of the risk factors that lead to obesity.
Children are at a higher risk of getting obese compared to adults. In an extensive study review, children were found to have an 89% chance of getting obese as compared to adults.
Adults who sleep for less than the recommended number of hours have a 55% risk of falling obese. The effect of sleep on weight gain is also dictated by a number of other factors such as hormones.
3. Good sleep equals to less number of consumed calories
Owe unto you if you are always sleeping for a few hours. Lack of enough sleep has been linked to big food appetites which make you consume more calories.
When you sleep for fewer hours, your appetite hormones go through fluctuations that make them get released out of sync with the body’s natural functioning. This makes your body release higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that is responsible for your appetite.
On the other hand, the hormone responsible for less appetite, Leptin is greatly reduced.
4. Reduced risk of heart diseases
Heart diseases are a group of health complications affecting the heart. They are said to be the leading causes of death in the U.S. Some common heart diseases include heart attack, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure and a heart attack just to mention a few.
The American Heart Association has linked a lack of proper sleep to heart diseases. Poor sleep could range from having trouble sleeping or dependency on sleeping pills.
A 2017 study showed that about 13,000 adults who experience poor sleep stand a 71% higher risk of ischemic heart disease. The same number of adults have a 45% higher risk of contracting stroke.
People who get less than 7-8 hours of sleep daily should are at greater risk of heart diseases. Save yourself the trouble of sleeping more.
5. Proper sleep boosts your immune function
With the latex mattress that is known to give your body the comfort that it needs, you can as well say bye to impaired immune function.
Most people who sleep for less than seven hours in a day stand at higher percent chance of falling sick to prevalent diseases than for those who sleep for fewer hours.
For instance, a common predisposing factor for colds is a lack of enough sleep. However, sleeping for 7-8 hours a day with the use of natural remedies such as garlic could easily avert the cold.
That being said, proper sleep generally ensures a strong immune system against common diseases.
6. Positive emotions and good social interactions
Past studies have shown that improper sleep is likely to most likely to make us social in adept. A 2007 neurological research review shows that a lack of enough sleep could directly infringe on your social skills.
According to a Dutch Neuroscientist, T.W. Boonstra, when you sleep for fewer hours, you increase the adenosine levels in your brain. Adenosine has the opposite effect of making you feel sleepier.
Even more interesting is the fact that the neuroscientists linked a lack of proper sleep to inactivity in the prefrontal cortex. This brain region is associated with emotions and critical thinking.
This ultimately makes it difficult for you to interact socially. You are most likely to find yourself having the inability to pick social cues and decode emotional information.
7. Good sleepers feel less depressed as compared to poor sleeper
Clinical depression has been directly linked to a lack of sleep. If you are finding it difficult to fall and stay asleep, it’s possible that you could be already a victim of depression. Depression could result from not getting enough sleep or having more hours of sleep.
This is not only attributed to poor sleeping quality but sleeping disorders as well. Examples of sleep disorders at play include Insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. Research shows that 90% of depression patients often complain about their sleep quality.
The bottom line
With all these being said, we can’t rule out the importance of proper sleep to our overall body health. Exercising and dieting are good in promoting optimal body health but all these are not complete without sleep.