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Why Is Sleep So Important?

Why Is Sleep So Important?

Sleep is an essential function for our bodies and minds to recharge. Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. Without enough sleep, the brain will not function properly.  

For most adults, at least seven hours of sleep each night is needed for proper cognitive and behavioral functions. Lack of sleep is linked to a higher risk for certain diseases and medical conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health, and early death. 

Our bodies have an internal "body clock" that regulates your sleep cycle to control when you are feeling tired or when you're refreshed and alert. This clock is known as the circadian rhythm and runs on a 24-hour cycle in the background to carry out essential functions and processes.

Here are some of the many benefits health professionals associate with getting enough good quality sleep.

1. Better productivity and concentration

Sleep is important for cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance.

Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function. Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory.

2. Lower weight gain risk

If you're trying to lose weight, getting good quality sleep is crucial. People with short sleep duration tend to weight sign

3. Better calorie regulation

Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.

4. Improve athletic performance

Athletes may benefit from as many as 10 hours of sleep. Your body heals during sleep, therefore, leading to:

  • better performance intensity
  • more energy
  • better coordination
  • increasing speed skills
  • better mental functioning
5. Lower risk of heart disease and stroke

Sleeping allows the body's blood pressure to regulate itself and lack of sleep can raise the blood pressure.

Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. 

6. Prevents depression

There is a strong association between sleep and mental health. There is a link between lack of sleep and depression. 

A study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry suggests that people with sleep disorders such as insomnia are likely to show signs of depression. 

7. Stronger immune system

Sleep repairs the body, regenerates energy, and helps your body recover. Without sleep, your body doesn't have time to prevent illness and heal your body.

 

To get enough sleep, it's healthy to implement some positive lifestyle and sleep habits. 

  • Establish a bedtime routine and an appropriate bedtime to stay consistent with
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature and low lights in your bedroom
  • Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable - including your bedding
  • Try to stay away from screen devices an hour before going to sleep
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals in the hours leading up to bedtime
  • Exercise during the day

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