Sleep is an essential activity in our daily lives, and the need for it should never be ignored. You probably know plenty of people who don’t get enough sleep. Perhaps you are even one of them. If you haven’t been getting enough sleep, you may be experiencing some negative side effects. So why is healthy sleep so important?
Effects of Unhealthy Sleeping
Before you read further and learn some of the benefits of healthy sleeping, you need to understand the consequences of not sleeping well. You may be depriving yourself of sleep either intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, you might be noticing the following problems:
- Reduced concentration
- Extreme fatigue
- Impairment of problem-solving skills
- Decreased reaction times
- Memory problems
Sleep has a direct impact on your physical health. Did you know that sleeping actually plays a major role in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels? According to studies, those who suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease are more likely to be sleep deprived.
Also, you increase your chances of obesity if you don’t get enough quality sleep. A study carried out on teenagers showed that for each hour of sleep they lost, they increased their odds of becoming obese. But it is important to note that all age groups are at risk of suffering from obesity if they don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep helps your body maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that cause hunger (ghrelin) with those that make you full (leptin). When you don’t practice healthy sleeping, your levels of ghrelin go up, and leptin levels go down. The end result is that you will always feel hungry.
Your physical health is bound to improve if you get enough rest. It is important to note that a nap can affect how your body reacts to insulin. Remember this is the hormone that controls blood sugar level. So if you don’t get enough of it, your sugar levels may be higher than normal and put you at risk of suffering from diabetes.
If you are a gym enthusiast, you can greatly benefit from a good rest as sleep supports healthy growth and development. Sleep also triggers the body to release a hormone that promotes normal growth in teens and small children. The same hormone boosts muscle mass and repairs cells and tissues. Studies have also shown that an afternoon nap can positively impact puberty and fertility.
Your immune system also stands to benefit when you get enough rest. This system is responsible for defending your body against harmful or foreign substances. The way your body responds to diseases can change depending on whether you have been getting enough rest.
You will always be more alert during the day if you get enough rest the previous night. If you didn’t get enough rest, then it will take you longer to finish tasks, you might make more mistakes, or experience slower reactions. You may also suffer from microsleep—this refers to brief moments of falling asleep when you are already awake.
Microsleep cannot be controlled, and you might not even be aware of it. If not addressed, sleep can not only harm you on a personal level, but it can also cause large-scale issues such as car and machinery accidents.
If you are that person who is always conscious of how you look, then you should know that one of the secrets to beauty lies in the amount of sleep you get. You should have a normal routine of sleeping for at least 7 hours. Conversely, frequent periods of improper sleep can give you dark circles under the eyes and a shallow or tired appearance.
With that said, you now understand why getting enough rest is important. The average amount of sleep an adult, including the elderly, should receive is between seven and eight hours. From five-year-olds to adolescents, young bodies require nine to eleven hours of sleep every day. For newborns to five-year-olds, eleven+ hours is ideal. However, these patterns may change based on your child’s growth patterns.