Why It’s Important To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
December 17, 2014
An hour of sleep debt can have drastic effects on your health and life in the long run. How many times have stayed late at night? The recommendation is 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Are you getting enough of that? You should. Here’s why.
For Good Health
Isn’t that obvious? While 8 hours of good sleep will not transform you into Superman, it definitely is good to your brain, cardiovascular system, and immune system. People who often get less than 7 hours of sleep are prone to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Lack of sleep alters your body chemistry and activates certain body chemicals that raise bad cholesterol and fat in your system.
Admit it! You’re happier after a good night sleep and grumpier after 4 or 5 hours of sleep. That’s related to stress. Lack of sleep taxes your brain. It affects your alertness, cognitive functions, and even emotion. As much as you’re less able to focus when you lack sleep, you also tend to be more irritable.
For Your Waistline
Enough sleep is crucial for fat loss. If you’re wondering why you’re packing more fat, especially around your waist, check your sleeping habits. Lack of sleep or lack of quality sleep could be the culprit. When you haven’t had enough sleep, you tend to be sluggish the next day. You’re not that active, so you burn less calories. At the same time, you’re hungrier, so you tend to eat more. That’s because sleep is essential for production of leptin, a hormone that gives you that feeling of fullness after a meal. Sleep deprived individuals are low in leptin. They tend to eat more because of delayed fullness sensation. When you’re hungry, you tend to crave for unhealthy snacks, making you eat more fat.
For Better Thinking and Memory
Not getting enough sleep slows down your cognitive function and impairs memory. It’s difficult to focus. It’s difficult to make sound decisions. It’s difficult to think clearly. People who haven’t slept well also tend to forget a lot of things–car keys, money, appointments, documents, etc. Cumulative sleep debt takes a toll on your higher brain functioning and may set you on the course to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
For Better Defenses Against Illnesses
Your immune system depends on a number of things, chiefly your diet, fitness, and sleep. People who are chronically sleep deprived to get colds more often than those who are getting enough sleep. If you sleep less than seven hours frequently, you’re three times likely to to get sick. Experts don’t yet quite understand the connection between sleep deprivation and decline in immune response. But some studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes a decline in the production of T-cells and an increase in inflammatory cytokines.
Lack of sleep wreaks havoc in the intimacy department. When you’re sleep derived, you tend to be tired and unable to perform well on bed.
Ready to start getting better sleep now? If so, you may need to do things like make your bedroom darker, start going to bed at the same time each night, get some noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping through the loud noises from next door, wear a sleep mask or any other type of night time ritual that helps you start sleeping better tonight.