We sleep for roughly 25-33% of our lifetime. And just like it is important to eat, drink and breath, it’s also important to sleep. Sleep isn’t only good for our recovery, but it’s also really important for maintaining good mental health and physical health. Want to know more about the importance of sleeping, stay here and read this blog!
Boost your day
Sleeping helps us to recover from mental and physical loading during the day. So those hours during the night keeps us healthy during the day. And sleep and health are strongly related. Not getting the right number of hours or effective hours of sleep during the night can increase the risk of poor health. But poor health can even make it harder to sleep.
The signs of sleep disturbance
Problems with sleeping can be the first sign of distress. Mental health problems like anxiety or even depression can often underpin sleep problems. And we all know those scenes in movies when friends walk in a room where their friend is lying in bed. They rip the curtains open and say that their friend needs to get out of bed and that they need to pull themselves together. But tiredness or a disturbed sleep can be a part of having a mental health problem. So it’s important to address sleep and sleep disorders as part of a mental health treatment.
Sleep fixes you!
But what happens when we sleep? Well many biological processes happen during our sleep. The brain stores new information and gets rid of toxic waste. Nerve cells communicate and reorganize, which supports a healthy brain function. Research shows that a good night sleep can help improving your memory capacity, but it also helps with learning, creativity, and helps improve your focus and concentration. But sleep also helps the body to repair cells, restores energy, and releases hormones and proteins. This is especially needed for physical recovery. And these processes are critical for our overall health. Without these processes, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function correctly.
Sleep against obesity
So sleep helps to improve your mental and physical health. But it also helps maintain your weight. During your sleep, your hunger hormones are controlled. These hormones include ghrelin, which increases your appetite, and leptin, which gives you the feeling of being full after you ate. When you sleep, the ghrelin hormone decreases so your appetite drops. A lack of sleep however, elevates ghrelin and suppresses leptin. These chances make you hungrier, which could cause overeating and gaining weight. Recent studies even show that a sleep deprivation, even as few as five consecutive nights, may be associated with an increase risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
But besides these facts, sleep can also increase your immune system. When you sleep, your body is producing cytokines. These proteins can fight an infection and inflammation. But your body also produces certain antibodies and immune cells. All these molecules together prevent sickness. And that’s why sleep is so important when you’re not feeling a hundred percent.
Sleep for a healthy heart
The last fact about sleeping I want to mention is the fact that a good night sleep can help reduce the risk of heart diseases. Well that’s not a hundred percent true, but research has shown that a lack of sleep is associated with risk factors for heart disease including a high blood pressure, increase inflammation, elevated cortisol levels, weights gains and insulin resistance.
You can improve your sleep
Taking a look at the previous things I just mentioned, we could say that we can all benefit from improving our quality of sleep. And that isn’t that hard to do. For many of us, it may be as simple as making small lifestyle adjustments. Maybe lay your phone down earlier, take a half hour of rest before going to bed, get rid of that last cup of coffee or maybe do some breathing exercises when you’re in bed. But make sure you get a good night sleep, because it affects your mood, energy and concentration levels, your relationship and your ability to perform your best in sports and at work during the day.