Back in the day, sleep was considered a luxury that was unaffordable for people with huge schedules and dreams. I mean, why would anyone even consider sleeping through the night when burning the “midnight oil” had been established as the path to success? Well, thanks to research, we now know better.
These days, more and more people are beginning to realize just how important sleep is to their physical, mental and emotional health. For instance, a study revealed that people who aren’t getting at least six hours of sleep each night are more susceptible to diseases.
Now, that doesn’t sound so good, does it?
So, what do you do? Sleep more! Here are 7 reasons why.
7 Reasons That Getting More Sleep Is Good For Health
It Helps the Heart
Research has shown that people without adequate sleep are more likely to suffer from strokes and heart attacks during the morning hours. This is because of the way sleep interacts with a person’s blood vessels.
Sleep deprivation has also been associated with increased cholesterol levels and blood pressure; two main risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. So, if you want to maintain a healthy heart, then aim for 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
It Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Melatonin is one of the body’s hormones that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. And it is believed that this hormone plays a role in cancer protection.
A lot of people are unaware of this, but people who work during nighttime hours have an increased risk of developing colon and breast cancer. Experts believe that this is partially due to the reduced production of melatonin, as a result of light exposure.
In order to get the best sleep possible, make sure that all of your lights are switched off. Also, refrain from using any electronics before bed such as computers, phones and games. Doing so will help your body produce the amount of melatonin it needs.
Helps to Lay Off Stress
Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but in some cases, stress can be almost too much to handle. Stress levels are amplified when you’re sleep-deprived.
In fact, when a sleep-deprived body is stressed, its functions enter a fight or flight mode. However, this does your body more harm than good by increasing your blood pressure and the production of stress hormones.
In order to combat this, try learning a few relaxation and meditation techniques. It’ll help you de-stress and allow you to fall asleep faster.
Sleep Boosts Brain Function
While many medical experts aren’t exactly sure why people dream, they have discovered that sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation. Your body may be resting as you sleep, however, your mind is working overtime to process your day, feelings, sensory input, memories and make connections during events.
Being in a deep sleep gives your brain time to create links and memories and this helps you remember and process things more efficiently. However, nighttime isn’t the only occasion where you can rest.
Taking a brief nap during the day is actually a healthy alternative to drinking caffeine. Not only is it good for your health, it can also make you more productive during working hours. Furthermore, taking naps also helps to improve mood, cognitive functions and memory.
It Promotes Weight Loss
Contrary to what most people believe, sleep can actually promote weight loss. Medical professionals have found out that people who don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep are more prone to weight gain. It is believed that lack of sleep dramatically impacts hormonal balance, which can affect your appetite.
It has been shown that the production of leptin and ghrelin, which are the two hormones that regulates a person’s appetite, can be disrupted by lack of sleep. So, in essence, the increased stress makes you more hungry and increases the tendency of overeating.
As expected, the result is excessive weight gain. So, if you want to stay fit, it goes way beyond lifting weights and running miles… you need to sleep more.
It Helps Blood Sugar
Going without sleep can also negatively affect on your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar. In fact, a study has shown that young males that only sleep for four hours a week exhibited symptoms of prediabetes. However, these symptoms disappeared after a week of proper sleep.
Having poor sleeping habits are also connected to the effects on blood sugar. And sleep deprivation can cause prediabetes within six days.
Boosts the Immune System
To prevent illness, your immune system identifies potentially harmful agents in your body and destroys it. However, the ongoing lack of adequate sleep can affect your immune system and you may find yourself getting sick more often.
During sleep, your immune system finds and destroys any harmful bacteria that can cause illness. So, when you don’t get enough restorative sleep, the immune system isn’t able to do its job properly and this can make illnesses last longer. So, for the sake of your health, please sleep more.
Sleep is critical to overall good health! It's impossible to function without adequate sleep. So, from henceforth, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
You should also endeavor to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, weekends included. As creatures of habit, our bodies thrive on routine. Skimping on sleep during the week and then trying to make up for it on the weekend just doesn't work.
So get in those sheets and sleep your way to resounding health. You’ll be glad you did!
About the Author:
“Richard is a writer with an unquenchable passion for healthy living and productivity. He's a content marketing guru that has worked with clients from almost every continent. His work has appeared on popular publications such as Livestrong and Lifehack.”
I am 34 years old and currently live in Landenberg, PA. I played many different sports growing up and also started lifting weights at age 12.
In my late teens I got heavy into drugs and ended up even being a heroin addict for a few years.
By my late twenties I finally found myself again, much to the credit of diet and fitness – it helped save my life!
Since overcoming drug and heroin addiction I’ve been able to totally rebuild myself in health, relationships and business. Much of that I credit to diet and fitness.
I now enjoy helping other people overcome addiction (and triumph it) with a project called “Project Unbroken” that myself and my good friend Matt started in early 2018. We share out story of addiction, bringing people through our addiction all the way to where we are now in life.
I also love testing with new diets & fitness stuff and sharing with other people. Part of this includes a team of high skilled writers and researchers that help me with the content for this website!