Posted on May 28, 2020, 11 a.m.
Getting enough sleep is a critical part of being a healthy person. You can eat the right things, work out, and have a positive attitude. However, if you're not getting proper sleep, all that stuff won't make up for it.
The required sleep we need depends on our age. Younger babies, children, and teenagers need much more sleep than adults because they're still developing. The average adult needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, while newborns need 14 to 17 hours and even teenagers require 8 to 10 hours.
One of the most important things in creating quality sleep every night is having the right mattress, and memory foam is an excellent choice. The way to go about choosing a memory foam mattress is making sure it's firm enough to support you but still conforms to your body so you won't wake up with aches and pains.
So, why is sleep so important to our health? We're going to go over the positive effects of getting a good night's sleep for your overall well being.
Stress is a normal part of life. We all have work, children, and chores that need to get done that can cause stress. A little stress is fine, but when we have an overwhelming amount of it in our lives, it can cause health problems like heart disease, depression, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes.
Letting your body rest and get adequate sleep can lower the level of stress hormones in your body. Have a calming routine at the end of the night such as washing your face, drinking a glass of wine or mug of tea, reading your favorite book, watching a movie, or just spending quality time with your significant other to help promote better sleep.
As a result of getting sleep, you'll have less stress, which will reduce your chances of suffering from the diseases stated above.
Helps Your Body Fight Back
When you're asleep, your body is still working to keep everything healthy for when you wake up. Sleep helps to improve the immune system, specifically the immune cell known as the T cell. This T cell helps our body fight against intracellular pathogens.
These include things like the flu, cancer cells, herpes, and HIV. While we are asleep, the T cell goes to kill these viral cells. We wake up and are able to be healthy and without the virus taking over our bodies.
When we don't get proper sleep, the T cell can't function properly, and we can become sick more easily.
Improves Weight Regulation
Have you ever not gotten enough sleep, and the next morning you're in a rush? You stop for a fast-food breakfast with a large coffee. Then, you think to yourself, you might need that extra doughnut, espresso shot, and added sugar to keep you awake during the workday.
The Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA did a study which proved that the hormone responsible for your appetite is affected by your sleeping patterns. The results state that when you don't sleep enough, there’s increased food intake. This is because food gives us energy, and we need more energy when we're tired.
Being overweight or obese can cause serious health problems, including premature death, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, depression, and overall lower quality of life.
Adequate sleep can keep your appetite regulated and will reduce the cravings for sugary, high-calorie foods. You'll make better eating choices, which will help you maintain a healthy weight.
During sleep, our bodies take the time to regulate everything inside, including inflammation. Sleep is regulated by circadian rhythms, which also works to monitor our levels of inflammation.
When the circadian rhythms aren’t functioning correctly, that means our sleep and inflammation levels are being disturbed.
Inflammation is our body's natural defense mechanism, which is useful when a foreign object is in our body. However, sometimes our body thinks that its own cells are a threat, which increases the levels of inflammation unnecessarily. Chronic inflammation puts us at more risk of conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Getting enough time in our beds will help to keep our inflammation levels down, which helps to promote good health.
Better Brain Function
When we think of our bodies, we forget that mental health and brain function are an essential part of being healthy. If your brain isn't working correctly, it's hard to maintain everything else as it should be.
Concentration is essential for all of us with work or school. In order to perform our best in our jobs, you need to be able to concentrate for about 8 hours a day. Getting enough quality sleep creates a sharp mind and aids in productivity because you can focus properly.
The experts at Harvard University stated that when people don't get the correct amount of sleep, their concentration and attention declines. Sleep is vital for a lot of the brain's functions.
In addition to concentration, when you snooze the correct amount, you're better at making decisions, you have a better mood, sharper memory skills, and a clearer mind. As stated above, a lot goes on when we sleep. Additionally, the body also cleanses the brain of harmful toxins during the night while you are sleeping.
The classic saying of "sleep on it" when making a hard decision has some medical evidence to back up why it's a good idea. After a good night's sleep, we can think more precisely and make better decisions.
The Bottom Line
Staying up late to watch just one more episode or partying until the late hours of the night can really affect your health and well being. Sleep is one of the most important things that you can prioritize in your life to promote being healthy for a long time.
Setting up a sleeping schedule and having a comfy bed will help to make the sleep you get even better. When you do get the correct amount of sleep, you'll reduce your stress, improve your immune system, help regulate your weight, lower your body's inflammation, and better your brain function.
These above are all critical for living a healthy life and enjoying overall well being that can all be affected by sleep, and highlight the importance of getting enough shut eye.
Article courtesy of Ashley Lipman, who is the Outreach Manager at The Blog Frog and a health advocate.
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Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.