A Good Night Sleep Is Incredibly Important For Health.

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I’ve heard people say " I rather be doing more than sleeping". Well, it’s all about managing your time. A lot of people underestimate sleep and a good night sleep is incredibly important for your health, just like nutrition and exercising. If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day tired, cranky, and out of energy. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly does more than make you feel grumpy.The long term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.

Sleep is an important function for many reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that help:

  •  decrease risk for health conditions

  • manage your hunger levels

  • maintain your immune system

  • retain memory

But you can’t catch up or make up loss of sleep. In fact, consistently sleeping more than six to eight hours a night can negatively impact your health.The healthy amount of sleep for the average adult is around seven to eight hours each night (1).

 

Here are 10 reasons why good sleep is important.

1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat

Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain. People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep (2, 3).

In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise. If you are trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.

 

2.Good Sleepers Tend to Eat Fewer Calories

Studies show that sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.

Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation (4, 5).

This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.

 

3. Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function.

This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance (6).

Another study found short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication (7).

Good sleep, on the other hand, has been shown to improve problem solving skills and enhance memory performance of both children and adults (8, 9).

 

4. Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance

Getting enough sleep takes commitment, just like training.

Less sleep duration has been associated with poor exercise performance and functional limitation in elderly women. (10)

Sleep also plays a major role in athletic performance and competitive results. The quality and amount of sleep athletes get is often the key to winning. REM sleep in particular provides energy to both the brain and body. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to repair memory, consolidate memory, and release hormones.

Bottom line, longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.

 

5. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don't sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits. Getting enough good quality sleep is important if you want to lower you risk of these conditions.

A review of 15 studies found that short sleepers are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night (11).

 

6. Poor Sleep Is Linked to Depression

Depression is not something that a person can ignore or simply will away. Rather, it is a serious disorder that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels and thinks. The cause of depression is not known, but it can be effectively controlled with treatment.

It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality (12).

Poor sleep is even associated with increased risk of death by suicide (13).

Insomnia is very common among depressed patients.(14)  Evidence suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of  developing depression compared with those who sleep well.(15)

 

7. Sleep Improves Your Immune Function

Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress.

Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. 

Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function (16). Getting at least 8 hours of sleep can improve immune function and help fight the common cold.

 

8. Poor Sleep Is Linked to Increased Inflammation

Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in the body. In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage. (17)

Inflammation is often increased or unbalanced in individuals with sleep-related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome. Individuals who have diseases that tend to increase inflammation such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune disorders have an increased tendency for disturbed sleep. Increased inflammation also occurs in the elderly who have more difficulties with sleep than younger individuals. 


Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health.

You simply can not achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.