Health Benefits of Sleep
Everybody knows that sleep is necessary to ensure proper functioning of their bodies, but a lot of people don’t exactly know how this is so. In fact, there are still a lot of people who are willing to sacrifice some hours of precious daily sleep time for various reasons.
You’ll be surprised to see that it actually helps your body in just about every way.
Sleep helps with stress management
It’s no secret that you feel much better when you have enough sleep, both in the short and long terms. This has something to do with the effects of lack of sleep in your bodily functions.
When you don’t have enough sleep, your body’s stress hormones are elevated, and your blood pressure and heart rate (among others) become abnormally increased. Getting enough rest would help reverse these effects. At the same time, having enough sleep will help you cope with your daily grind better, which further helps in reducing stress.
Sleep improves alertness
When you are fresh from a good night’s sleep, you feel much sharper when doing your tasks. You may think it’s more of a psychological thing, but there is an actual science to it.
You have more energy when you get enough rest and sleep, so it certainly helps with your overall alertness. Also, your mind operates more clearly when you get enough sleep, so it also helps in boosting your overall alertness.
So if you want to get maximum alertness, especially when performing highly demanding tasks, make sure that you get decent sleep the day before.
Sleep improves memory
Part of the memory building process takes place while you are sleeping. In a process called memory consolidation, your brain makes connections between your day’s experiences, sensory inputs, and your feelings. Getting sufficient sleep enhances the consolidation process, resulting to better memory and information retention.
Sleep enhances healing
Part of the physical repair process takes place while you are asleep. When you are asleep, your body is at a recovery state. Your bones and muscles repair itself while you are asleep, your body’s immune system is in full recharge mode, and free radicals and other harmful elements are being eliminated.
Sufficient sleep reloads your energy, enhances both physical and mental health, and quashes off stress and its effects. Consider sleep as the maintenance period of your body; it is essential for proper healing.
Sleep is good for the heart
Heart diseases is a very common cause of death worldwide. While it takes a multi-step approach to ensure good cardiovascular health, one way you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease is by getting enough sleep.
Having sufficient rest and sleep helps in reducing blood pressure by regulating hormone production and preventing too much exhaustion. Also, having enough sleep helps in regulating blood cholesterol levels, which is critical for preventing heart attacks, strokes, and other related events.
Sleep helps in weight management
If you want to take better care of your weight, then you might want to reconsider your sleeping habits.
Researches show that people who sleep less than 7 hours a day are more likely to be overweight. This effect is more likely because of the excess of specific hormones when you lack sleep.
Hormones that affect appetite (like leptin and ghrelin) and decrease metabolic function (like cortisol) are increased, which leads to erratic food consumption, increased fat buildup, and excess weight. Adequate sleep is one way to help manage your weight.
Sleep reduces risk of depression
Depression is now considered as a true clinical disorder. And while there are many factors that can affect your propensity of developing depression, lack of proper rest and sleep over a long period plays a factor in this.
The psychological effects of chronic sleep deprivation is real, and it predisposes people to mental disorders such as depression.
Also, production of certain hormones such as serotonin can get compromised, which can contribute to the pathological process that leads to the development of depression. Getting enough sleep daily helps reduce your risk of developing depression.
Sleep is a bodily process that we usually overlook, usually up until the point that our bodies are not properly functioning anymore.
For the sake of your health, you should never miss out on getting some quality sleep. For optimal physical and mental performance and prevention of disease, you should never miss out on having proper sleep time, regardless of how busy your schedule is.