From the day you’re born until the day you die, sleep is something that you will do every single day. A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. The average person requires 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Losing just one of those hours can lead to short-term negative health effects. Getting high quality of sleep for the right amount of time is one of the best things you can do to support a healthy lifestyle. Below are 5 reasons that sleep is important for your health.
Sleep helps you maintain a good weight
Poor sleep quality and not hitting your target amount of hours is strongly linked to weight gain. The most obvious reason for this is that when you’re tired, you’re more likely to skip the gym. Feeling refreshed is important for motivation and therefore working out. Sleepiness can also contribute to eating quick meals like takeout. Shopping, preparing, cooking and then cleaning up after dinner takes a lot of time that you may not have if you’re exhausted . For that reason, tiredness can lead to fattier meals. An overtired brain also has revved up reward centers. This means it wants to fulfill its cravings, which might be those French fries you’ve wanted all week. Not getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night also leads to excess Ghrelin secretion, which makes you feel hungrier than you actually are. Cortisol also spikes when you’re tired, causing extra stress.
Sleep boosts immunity
If you’re one of those people that gets a cold every other week in the winter and can’t avoid the flu even when you barricade yourself in your home, you might not be getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to lower immunity levels making you more susceptible to illness. Try adding a few hours a night to your sleep routine (while making sure it’s quality sleep) and see if maybe your body can start fighting off the bugs.
Studies show that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are more susceptible to developing diabetes at some point in their lifetime. Skipping a few hours of sleep per night consistently over time can lead to type 2 diabetes. The way the disease develops is by a change in your body’s way of processing glucose (sugar), which is what your body uses for fuel.
Sleep fights heart disease
For years scientists have found that sleep deprivation is strongly linked to heart disease development. Lack of sleep can lead to an increased resting heart rate, an increase in blood pressure, and high levels of chemicals in the blood that create inflammation in places that shouldn’t be inflamed. This puts an extra strain on your heart over time.
Sleep improves your mental wellbeing
Getting a good night’s sleep puts you in an overall better mood because you feel more refreshed and light when you first wake up. Sleep deprivation has been linked to disorders like depression and chronic anxiety. Studies show that most people with poor mental wellbeing get less than six hours of sleep per night. Sleep also improves your memory, cognitive functionality, and alertness.
Getting enough quality sleep is important for your health, and is the easiest thing you can do to support your healthy lifestyle. Paired with changing your diet and exercise routine, try to get a good sleep routine going as well!