The Role of a Good Night Sleep in Improving Overall Health
People look after themselves in a wide number of different ways. They do it by staying safe on the internet, maintaining a healthy diet or taking regular exercise. Getting a good night’s sleep is also important, and it’s vital to our overall health. If you’ve been staying up late and getting up early or are wanting to improve your general medical condition, read on because this article explains why sleep is so crucial.
Sleep Is A Preventative Measure
Did you know that sleep deprivation is classed as a public health epidemic? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-third of American adults don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. This can lead to a number of health problems, including heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.
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Sleep Protects Our Immune Systems
Our immune system is a collection of organs, tissues and cells that work together to protect our bodies from infection and disease. It’s responsible for fighting off bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders. If we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system can become weakened, making us more susceptible to illness and infection.
Research shows that people who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are almost three times as likely to catch a cold as those who get eight or more hours. Not getting enough sleep can also make it harder for us to recover from an illness once we do come down with one. So if you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system, getting enough quality sleep should be at the top of your list.
Sleep Protects From Diabetes, Obesity And Inflammation
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies can’t properly regulate insulin, which can lead to Type II Diabetes. In addition, people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be obese, and obesity is a risk factor for developing Diabetes. People who have a poor night’s sleep often feel the need to eat, in order to gain extra energy. In turn, this can result in weight gain.
Inflammation is your body’s response to infection, injury or other harmful stimuli. When you don’t get enough sleep, the inflammatory markers in your blood increase. This elevates your risk for health problems such as heart disease, type II Diabetes and obesity.
Sleep Restores Our Bodies And Energy Levels
Did you know that during sleep, your body repairs and regenerates tissue? It goes into recovery mode and does all sorts of important things like regenerating cells and balancing our hormones. This means that if we don’t get enough sleep, our body can’t function at its best.
Sleep also plays an important role in our energy levels. When we’re well-rested, we have more power to put towards physical activity and exercise. This, in turn, can lead to better overall physical performance.
Sleep Improves Our Moods And Focus
We all know how good we feel after a restful night’s sleep. We’re in a better mood and we’re able to think more clearly. But did you know that there’s a scientific reason for this? It’s because during sleep, our bodies produce serotonin, which is a chemical that helps regulate our moods. So if you’re feeling down or stressed out, make sure to get some extra shut-eye.
When we’re tired, it’s harder to pay attention and focus on tasks. This is because sleep deprivation impairs our cognitive function. So if you need to be sharp for an important meeting or presentation, be sure you get a good night’s sleep beforehand.
Sleep Improves Our Learning Abilities And Productivity
Having sufficient sleep each night plays an important role in our ability to learn and retain information. One study published in a neuroscience journal found that sleep helps us “clean up” our memories, consolidating them and making them stronger. This means that getting a good night’s sleep can help improve our memory recall and learning capacities.
A lack of sleep can also lead to a decrease in productivity. One study found that people who slept for six hours or less per night were almost 30% less productive than those who got seven to eight hours’ sleep. The participants in the study also reported feeling more stressed, having more difficulty concentrating, and taking longer to complete tasks. Additionally, you’ll be more creative if you sleep well than if you experience short or broken nights.
Sleep Improves Our Mental And Emotional Health
Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and are more likely to have positive outlooks on life. When you’re stressed out, cortisol (a hormone released by the adrenal gland) rises. Cortisol signals your body to release glucose into the bloodstream for energy, which can be harmful if levels are high all the time. When you don’t get enough sleep, cortisol production increases as part of your body’s natural response to stress.
As we said earlier, sleep also helps to regulate our moods. So if you’re feeling down, a good night’s sleep may be just what you need to help you feel better.
As you can see, having enough sleep is integral for our physical and emotional well-being. By faithfully stewarding our lifestyles, we can be rested in our bodies and sharp in our minds. Should we encounter an unexpected challenge during the day, we’ll be better able to face it and resolve it. At the same time, we’ll be helping to protect our bodies from chronic disease.