Sleep plays a very important role in the good health and well-being of a person throughout their life. Getting the right amount of quality sleep protects your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
Your health when you’re awake depends hugely on what happens while you're sleeping. The body needs sleep to work on supporting healthy brain function and maintaining your physical health. In children and teens, sleep is very important for proper growth and development.
Sleep deficiency causes damage that can either occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. If you have continuous sleep deficiency it increases the risk of some chronic health problems. It also impacts how you think, react, work, learn, and socialize.
All experts say that most adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep. Kids need more than that. So, are you getting the right amount of sleep? Even if you lay in bed for seven to nine hours, you’re probably not asleep for all of it. Sleep has often been associated with laziness but that’s not true at all. Sleeping the right amount increases the efficiency of a person. Most adults tend to undersleep rather than oversleep. So, forget about the prejudices, here’s why you should be sleeping more, not less:
5 Health Benefits of Sleeping Well
Sleep is vital for both your body and your mind. A few missed nights of sleep won’t take much of a toll on your health. But regular sleep deficiency will definitely cause problems.
1. Controls your weight
If you are on a weight loss plan, you may find that sleeping more is the key to success. Sleep deficiency has been linked with higher body mass index and weight gain.
Poor sleep leads to:
Increased appetite because sleep impacts the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin makes you feel hunger and leptin lets you know when you’re full. Not getting enough sleep causes your body to make more ghrelin and less leptin.
Decreased metabolism because lack of sleep leads to a lower RMR (resting metabolic rate). RMR is the number of calories burnt when you are resting. The higher your RMR, the more calories are burnt.
2. Helps your memory
Sleep helps your memory in two ways. First, lacking enough sleep makes it hard for you to concentrate and learn new information. But also, when you sleep, your brain continues to function.
During sleep, the brain works on things such as memory consolidation which is the process where your brain turns recent events into memories. Not getting enough sleep hinders this process.
3. Improves your immune system
When you get stressed and lose sleep, you get more vulnerable health problems. During sleep, your body produces cytokines which are proteins that increase during an infection, inflammation, or when you are stressed.
If you don’t sleep enough, you don’t produce enough cytokines, and you’ll find yourself more susceptible to catching diseases. These proteins also aid your body in healing from environmental effects including pollution and UV rays.
4. Regulates blood sugar levels
Sleep affects blood sugar levels in two ways:
● Sleep deprivation may lead to an increase in blood sugar levels.
● Staying up late raises cortisol levels which affects your insulin production. Insulin is responsible for controlling your glucose (blood sugar) levels and a lack of it can cause diabetes.
High blood sugar levels also lead to getting less sleep due to frequent urination and thirst, causing you to get out of bed at night and further disrupt your sleep, making it a bad health cycle.
5. Improves mood
Sleep and mental health have a close relation with each other. Sleep deprivation impacts your mood and mental health. And also, depression and other mood disorders have an impact on how well you sleep.
Disruption during any of the four stages of sleep can lead to an imbalance in hormones and other chemicals; which can cause problems with emotional regulation and cognitive functioning.
Sleep well, stay healthy, stay safe :)