The universal truth about sleeping is that we all love it.
However, sleeping on time and making the most of it is different from sleeping whenever you want to. In order to have a healthy lifestyle, it’s incredibly vital to sleep well.
A lot of things fall into their proper places if you’re sleeping well. But unfortunately, the concept of good/healthy sleep isn’t too popular these days.
So allow us to change your mind by giving ten reasons why good sleep is essential – let’s get into it!
How Does Sleep Work?
Sleep is divided into multiple sleep cycles, with each cycle lasting from 70 to 120 minutes. Specifically, sleep consists of four integral stages:
- Stage 01 (1-5 minutes): Beginning of your sleep; it eventually transitions into stage 2
- Stage 02 (10-60 mins): Further decrease in the brain’s activity
- Stage 03 (20-40 mins): A marked reduction in the brain’s activity accompanied by the relaxation of the body’s muscles. This stage allows your body to recover from the tiredness of the day.
- Stage 04 (10-60 mins): Also known as REM sleep – this stage is the most critical part of your sleep, as it focuses on improving your memory and learning capabilities.
Good Sleep: A Superhero That’ll Turn Your Life Around
Well, now that you know how sleep works, let’s take a look at how it can turn your life around.
1. Improves Concentration & Productivity
It’s natural to feel in sync with your body after a good sleep. This is so because sleeping well allows your body to recover from the previous day’s tiredness. Once this is achieved, you are bound to concentrate well the next day and boost your productivity.
On the other hand, a poor sleep of 4-5 hours doesn’t let the REM cycle do its job. Thus, feeling sluggish and tired is inevitable.
2. Keeps You From Getting Depressed
One of the reasons behind the fast-paced progression of depression is the lack of good sleep. While we cannot establish a direct link, it’s understood that feeling exhausted and not exercising due to poor sleep can lead to mood-related symptoms.
Furthermore, not sleeping well disrupts the function of serotonin. It’s the hormone that stabilises our mood and promotes a feeling of well-being. Therefore, fluctuating levels of serotonin can disturb the circadian rhythms leaving you vulnerable to depression.
3. Greater Athletic Performance
Athletes love a good sleep as much as they love sports. It is because a goodnight’s sleep leads to enhanced athletic performance.
According to a study, poor sleep can lead to problems, inaccuracy, and strength. Therefore, athletes need to ensure that they have a proper sleeping schedule and sleep for adequate hours to improve their competitiveness and endurance.
4. Makes Your Immune System Function Better
Giving your body a chance to recover fully is incredibly essential. Not doing it might leave you susceptible to various infections, and rightfully so.
According to experts, good sleep leads to the production of cytokines. These proteins are required by the body to fight off the attacks of microorganisms and keep you healthy.
In addition, if you’re not letting sleep work its restorative magic, then you’re inviting harmful foreign bodies to invade your body.
5. Good Sleep Ensures Lower Weight Gain Risk
Sleeping well at night keeps multiple things in check. One such is a group of hormones known as leptin and ghrelin that regulate appetite. If these hormones work in a balanced environment, you don’t have a chance of gaining unwanted weight.
However, disturbed sleep patterns can cause weight gain due to the disruption in these hormones.
6. Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease
Our hearts never stop beating and pumping blood. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t slow down to take a rest. During sleep, the heart slows down and recovers from the day’s job to ensure that its performance, the following day, is up to the mark.
If you don’t sleep well and deprive the heart of this crucial recovery period, you’d be welcoming heart diseases with open arms. To back up this claim, research has proven that individuals who don’t sleep well have a 20% higher risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
7. Maintains Healthy Levels Of Blood Sugar
You’d be surprised to know that there is a pretty solid connection between sleep and type 2 diabetes.
When you don’t sleep well and deprive yourself of the regular hours invested in sleeping, it causes insulin resistance. Because of this, the blood sugar doesn’t get taken up by the cells – hence causing an increase in its levels!
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, sleeping well is also a vital factor that can help you stay fit.
8. Sleep Reduces Stress
This doesn’t need much explanation because it’s pretty self-explanatory.
Many experts have discussed this in detail and have declared that good sleep means good brain function. And when your brain is functioning correctly, you’re most likely not to get stressed.
According to various studies, poor sleep has made people more sensitive to negative stimuli and thus more prone to develop stress and anxiety.
So, when you feel like your brain is melting – please, go to sleep.
9. Sleep Improves Your Memory
Who knew that the way to memorise your course better was to sleep? And literally, all of the undergraduates or even postgraduates do not get a goodnight sleep.
The link between sleep and memory is quite simple. If your brain is tired, it will get incredibly challenging to focus. This could lead to inadequate attention to a topic and thus impaired memory.
How To Sleep Better?
Now that you know the importance of sleeping well, you should try your best to improve it. Here are some of the things you can do to sleep better:
- Find the ideal pillow for yourselves
- Fix a specific time to go to bed
- Don’t consume any caffeinated drinks at least 2 hours before bed
- Quit using your laptop/cellphone/tablet before sleeping
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress
- Improve the bedroom environment to optimise your sleep
In order to benefit from sleeping, it’s vital to prioritise healthy sleeping habits. For this, you can try to dedicate a particular time to sleep. Furthermore, stretching and putting away your cell phone before going to bed can also improve your overall sleep.
To be healthy, it’s not only essential to eat and exercise – but sleeping is quite vital too. So work on your sleep starting today for a healthier future!