Hi there! Excuse me – I’ve been pulling all-nighters for the past week. My workload just doesn’t seem to end. Are you a night owl, too? You might be surprised to know that almost 35% of adults in America are sleep-deprived. When it comes to staying fit, a good sleep is just as important as eating healthy and staying active.
Today we’ll be discussing the benefits of getting a full night’s sleep. Can it help you to lose weight? What about reducing anxiety and depression? We’re discussing all that and more.
To Begin With, It Could Mess Up Your Heart Health.
Did you know that every one hour of sleep lost increases your chances of mortality and heart disease by 6%? Scary isn’t it? Your heart manages the blood circulation in your entire system. The sooner you start taking care of it the longer it will keep you healthy.
If you already suffer from heart disease then clocking enough hours in bed gives you a chance to revive your heart health. You have to be even more careful if heart problems run in your family.
Losing sleep can make you tired and irritable the next day. But frequent episodes of diminished sleep can have long-term effects on your heart. Less sleep can also elevate your blood pressure which obstructs the smooth functioning of your heart. So slide under the covers and spend at least 7 to 9 hours getting a hearty sleep.
Next, Sleeping Helps You To Lose Weight.
Have you ever heard someone saying you snooze you lose? Well, that’s true in the case of sleep and weight. The more you sleep the easier it becomes for your body to lose weight. If you are already struggling with your weight then try following a strict sleep schedule. The science behind this is simple.
When your brain isn’t well-rested it releases cortisol, a stress hormone. A higher concentration of cortisol has been studied to increase weight. You won’t even feel like hitting the gym when you are all groggy in the morning.
Additionally, you tend to feel hungry when you are stressed out. Because poor sleep takes a whack at your hormones that control your appetite. It increases the level of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel hungry, and decreases the levels of leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full. It’s a disaster when this combination takes place in your body. Midnight snacking and binge eating are the last things you want on a weight loss journey. So don’t deprive yourself of this precious snooze time.
What’s More, Sleep Improves Concentration And Makes You Super Productive.
Do you have to reach for a pot of coffee every time you have a rough night? Well coffee may not work forever.
There is a ton of research that shows sleep can amplify academic performance in children as well as adults. It even enhances your problem-solving skills and increases your productivity. You are less likely to make errors at work and focus on a given task.
Every time you reach for a coffee refill you are just stretching your body’s limit to stay awake. This in turn could mess up your circadian rhythm and make things worse. So the bottom line remains: you can only replace sleep with more sleep.
Moving Along, Sleep Is The Secret To Better Athletic Performance.
It helps you to bring your A-game. Sleep loss can lead to a deterioration of your athletic functions. If you’re looking to accelerate your athletic performance then regular training and good nutrition need to be complemented with a good night’s sleep. The benefits of a well-rested body are endless.
It can sharpen your reaction time, improve motor functions, keep you motivated and focused, speed muscle recovery, improve your learning skills, and put you at a lesser risk of injury. Quality sleep can give you an edge on game day and make winning a piece of cake. One study found sleep deprivation in basketball players hampered their hand-eye coordination, reaction time, strength, and muscle recovery. Wouldn’t you agree that sleep is your best weapon to elevate your performance?
The Power Of Good Sleep Reduces The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes.
Great sleep is not a luxury, rather a necessity. It’s the best way for your body to recover. But sleeping less than 6 hours every night can increase your BMI, chances of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. When the glucose from your blood is not mobilized to the cells your blood sugar level may shoot up. Your HbA1c levels also can rise.
According to a study sleeping for less than 5 hours increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 48%. And sleeping less than 6 hours increases the risk by 18%. Adequate sleep can get all these factors under control.
Want to try some cool sleep tips? Optimize your sleep by turning off electronics one hour before your sleep time. Blue light from these devices has been proven to meddle with your brain and arrest the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone. Do not have heavy meals at least 3 hours before you hit the sack. Sleep in a cool dark room, practice stress management and let go of all the thoughts that you are clinging to. You can also consider wearing a sleep mask or drinking herbal tea to calm you down. If nothing helps then try having magnesium supplements after talking to your doctor. Do whatever it takes and just prioritize sleep.
Adding To The List Of Benefits, Sleeping Improves Mood.
Take the example of a baby. A well-rested infant is a delight. On the flip side, they turn really cranky when it’s past their bedtime. Sadly, adults cannot throw tantrums and just keep on pushing the limits of their bodies causing mental burnout.
If you are dealing with insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea then it’s essential to seek help. If you are just staying up late due to habit then try switching it up. A poor sleep score irrespective of its cause has been linked to anxiety and depression. Sleep promotes mental relaxation. When you want the ultimate detox for your body, get lots of sleep. You will feel more energetic and ready to face any challenge.
If you have to do mental and creative work, sleeping will definitely affect it positively. Just give it a try. But remember to keep it under 9 hours. Excessive sleeping can again increase your chances of heart disease. Who knew even sleeping could have a downside?
Want To Boost Your Immunity?
Then join the “Sleep Team” right away. Remember that time when you were told to get enough sleep before and after a covid-19 vaccine? It’s because sleeping has the potential of improving the efficacy of certain vaccines and increasing your immunity. Every cell in your body gets recharged to fight off germs and infections when you are well-rested.
If you frequently fall ill then calculate your sleep time. A study showed people who slept for 7 hours often are safeguarded from cold and flu. People who slept less than 5 hours per day had about a 4 % higher chance of developing a cold. Sleeping is the most effective way to feel healthy. That’s why sick people are often advised to sleep a lot to recover faster.
Enough Sleep Can Give You A Better Social Life.
Spending time with your loved ones is the greatest pleasure of life. But fatigue and tiredness can make you feel anxious in public situations. You may want to ditch plans when you are sleep-deprived. This may start a cycle of loneliness.
Lack of sleep can also reduce your ability to socialize, respond to humor and show empathy. Severe cases may even lead to emotional outbursts and inappropriate behavior in public. You can avoid all this by sleeping enough. It will ensure that you relax and enjoy the company of your family and friends.
Additionally, Sleeping Reduces Inflammation.
Acute inflammation is desirable for your body. It fights foreign particles, pollutants, and pathogens to keep you healthy. But there is another side to the same coin. Chronic inflammation can cause acne, constipation, joint pain, poor digestion, and weight gain. It can even lead to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart diseases.
If you are facing any of the symptoms then begin by changing your sleep schedule. Studies have shown enough sleep can bring down proteins mainly responsible for activating inflammatory pathways. Also, don’t forget to add a bunch of anti-inflammatory foods to get the best results.
Last But Not The Least, Want An Exceptional Memory?
Then never deprive yourself of the most powerful brain booster, a good sleep. Just as sleep refreshes your body, your mind also deserves a fresh start. Memories are stored by neurons and synapses of the brain. While you sleep at night these connections are made stronger to retain information. Sleep also removes irrelevant information like what breakfast you ate a few months ago by shrinking the neurons. This is called synaptic pruning.
On the other hand, an important memory is consolidated during sleep. This happens in deep sleep. An afternoon nap is not enough to create long-lasting memories in your brain. That means if you are not getting enough rest at night your body will spend less time in deep sleep. This may jeopardize your future ability to recall old memories.
Do you feel sleepy throughout the day and struggle to catch some shut-eye at night? If yes, your internal clock needs a quick readjustment.