There was a time when the importance of sleep was often overlooked by healthcare practitioners. But today, an increasing number of people are starting to understand the role of sleep on our health. Not getting enough sleep could lead to a wide variety of disorders that could be easily prevented by making a few lifestyle changes. Here are some of the top benefits of getting proper sleep.
Sleep Contributes to Good Heart Health
Stokes and heart attacks are more likely to happen early in the morning, and a lot of it might have to do with how sleep affects our blood vessels. Not getting enough sleep has also been shown to increase cholesterol and blood pressure, two factors that have been associated with elevated risks of developing heart disease.
Sleep May Help Reduce Cancer Risks
Did you know that working the late shift could actually increase your chance of developing colon and breast cancer? Melatonin has been shown to have a direct effect on cancerous tumors and is said to inhibit their growth. Getting exposed to sunlight reduces the production of this hormone which regulates our sleep cycles. So, you should make sure that your room is as dark as possible when sleeping and try to eliminate any sources of indoor light as well.
Sleep Helps with Stress Management
Not getting enough sleep will send your body into a stress state. Your bodily functions will then be on high alert, which will ramp up the production of cortisol as well as increase your blood pressure. The effects of cortisol on the body are far-reaching and can affect everything from your blood sugar level and immune system, all the way up to your risks of accumulating excess fat. Whilst sleep helps manage stress and anxiety, restless sleep can actually make it worse. This is why it’s important to be informed on the best conditions for sleeping, which can include everything from room temperature to the weight of your blankets, with heavier blankets being found to actually promote a night of more restful sleep.
Sleep Can Decrease Inflammation
Stress has also been shown to cause inflammation in the body, which is linked to a variety of health conditions. For instance, inflammation has been shown to increase your chances of developing cancer, diabetes, and a whole host of cardiovascular issues. Not only that, but inflammation has also been said to accelerate the body’s aging process.
Sleep Can Help You Shed Weight More Easily
A lot of people are still unaware of how important of a role sleep can have on weight loss. Various research has linked sleep deprivation to higher risks of obesity. The reason for this is that sleep seems to affect the production of hormones responsible for appetite regulation. Hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which are both essential for controlling your appetite, are disrupted by sleep deprivation. Getting longer and better sleep will not only leave you energized in the morning, but will also help you curb cravings as well.
Sleep is Essential for Recovery
If you’re someone who regularly engages in physical activity, or if you’d like to maximize your muscle gains, then you should know how important of a role sleep plays in recovery. During sleep, cells produce more protein, which allows them to regenerate faster and repair any damage that was caused during the day.
A Few Tips for Improving Sleep Quality
The good news with all of this is that you can always improve your sleep quality by making a few adjustments. The first thing you should do is make sure that you get a healthy dose of bright sunlight during the day, and limit your exposure to light before going to sleep. This will help regulate your circadian rhythms and make sure that your body isn’t confused and starts getting in sync with your environment.
One important thing you’ll also have to address is your mattress. When choosing a mattress, you should look for one that will give you the support needed to keep your spine perfectly aligned without applying too much pressure. If your mattress fails to do that, you will wake up with neck and back pain, or with aches from tossing and turning all night. If you want to learn more information on how to pick the best mattress, you can check out this best mattress buying guide from themattressnerd.com.
Another thing you should do is reduce the length of naps during the day. While short naps of 30 minutes or less have been shown to enhance brain function, anything longer than that could actually be detrimental.
Your bedroom should also be designed with proper sleep in mind. That means keeping it at an optimal temperature, going for dimmable lights, and making sure that your room remains clutter free. This is mainly because clutter has been said to trigger feelings of anxiety on a subconscious level. As far as temperature goes, you should try to keep your room’s temperature between 60 F and 67 F at all times.
As you can see, you simply can’t afford to live with sleep deprivation. Make sure that you take the steps today to improve your sleep quality and overall health.