Sleep isn’t something you do just because you feel tired. A good night’s sleep is a balance between good health and poor health. There are many reasons why we may occasionally have a night of tossing and turning. Your inability to sleep can be the result of a poor mattress that places you in poor sleeping positions, but one of the best mattresses can fix that easily. There are prescription drugs that affect you, poor living habits, indigestion, and so many other issues that may keep you from getting that good sleep that you need.
If we don’t adjust our sleeping habits, it can be a cause for medical issues to occur. This can include heart issues, high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, tired skin, fogging thinking, depression, and more. As a result of these health issues, the lack of sleep for long periods of time is considered a health risk.
Granted, the lack of sleep is just a small part of developing poor health. One of the most important reasons for a good night’s sleep is in how your body functions. While we sleep, your body’s cells, tissues, fluids, muscles, proteins, and organs are repairing themselves. The body is taking your sleep time to restore itself.
Let’s look at the benefits that we receive when we get a good seven to eight hours of sleep each night:
- The National Sleep Foundation reports that when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your appetite is out of whack. You want to eat and to eat higher-calorie foods. With a good amount of sleep, your body can produce a hormone called “ghrelin.” This hormone helps to suppress hunger. You eat fewer calories then you would if you weren’t sleeping well. Add eating healthy with low-fat meals, then throw in light exercising, and you will lose weight.
- Good sleeping habits actually helps your brain to rest and rejuvenate itself. As a result, your concentration and cognitive powers are improved. This has been proven in studies with students who are studying for a specific degree like legal or medical. Students who stayed up for long periods of time for several nights lost their concentration and their problem-solving memory started to wane.
- If you sleep normally each night, you can probably run a marathon. Sleep actually helps you to maximize your athletic prowess. Studies have shown that whether you are a professional athlete or a gym attendee, sleep improves your body’s performance. With sleep, you walk faster, you are more mentally alert, your stamina is stronger, and your daily activities are more coordinated.
- Sleep vastly improves your health. To keep from catching a cold, get more than seven hours of sleep each night. How is this possible? Remember how we discussed how your body repairs itself when you sleep? Well, part of that activity is your immune system. Sleep improves the functions of your immune system enabling you to better stave off a cold or flu. Your immune system is allowed to repair cells and fight hidden inflammation cells. For example, if you are a diabetic, poor sleeping habits can raise the risk of raising your blood sugar metabolism.
- When you are tired because you did not get a good night’s sleep, you can easily become anti-social. Yes, sleep affects how you communicate with people. The lack of sleep can make you cranky because you are tired and restless. The problem with this scenario is that many people don’t even realize or contribute their poor emotions to the lack of sleep.
- When you run into people who are not sleeping well, their skin or appearance is somewhat lack-luster. A protein in the body known as cortisol keeps our skin firm and flexible. The loss of sleep causes the body to slow the production of this hormone. The result is sagging skin, puffy eyes, and more. That’s why when you catch up on your sleep, people around you remark how refreshed you begin looking.
To keep your good health, instill some consistent sleeping habits. For example, don’t eat right before you lie down, especially foods that contain sugar and carbohydrates. Sugars and carbohydrates will cause your blood sugar to increase, then drop. Another good sleeping tip is to keep your bedroom cool, ventilated, and dark. This tricks your body into relaxing very quickly. Avoid several glasses of alcohol right before bed (within three hours). This is because after an hour or more, that same alcoholic drink will turn into a stimulant that will wake you up.