Everybody has mornings where they have to drag themselves out of bed with a sore head from a bad night’s sleep. Inadequate can make you irritable, exhausted, and unable to concentrate. Sometimes you might even need a pick-me-up like caffeine to get you through the morning.
But getting adequate sleep can be easier said than done when you have a lot on your mind, an irregular sleep schedule, and sleep in an uncomfortable position.
Some research even suggests that sleeping in the wrong position can cause obstructive sleep apnea, aggravate neck and back pain, and even cause toxins to filter out of the brain more slowly. Stomach sleepers are said to be more susceptible to neck, back, and spine problems. This means that your sleep position can also pose a threat to both your health and sleep quality.
On the other hand, getting more sleep will prepare you to take on anything the day throws at you. Just like a healthy diet and regular exercise, quality sleep is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are some health benefits that show the importance of a good night’s sleep.
What Health Benefits Are Associated With Adequate Sleep
Heightened Immune System
When you get between 8 to 9 hours of interrupted sleep every night, your proteins and immune cells get the rest they need to eradicate colds and any other infections that comes their way. According to sleep specialists at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, getting more sleep helps make vaccines more effective.
Quality Sleep Strengthens Your Heart
Sleep deprivation is known to cause heart health problems such as heart attacks and high blood pressure. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body releases cortisol which is a stress hormone that prompts your heart to work harder. Similar to your immune system, your heart needs adequate rest to function powerfully and appropriately.
Although sleep allows your body to get the rest it needs, your mind stays active during sleep. This is the time your brain consolidates and processes your memories from the day. If you lack sleep, those memories are not processed, instead, your mind creates false memories.
Prevents Weight Gain
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep might not help you cut weight, but it prevents you from adding weight. When you are sleep-deprived, your body releases ghrelin which is a hormone that boosts appetite and decreases the release of leptin which is a hormone that informs you when you’re full.
Put together, this dangerous combo is a cause for late-night snacking, which is in itself a reason for sleepless nights. When you lack enough sleep, you generally become stressed and too exhausted to fight off unhealthy cravings.
Most people think that burning the midnight oil makes them more productive when in reality, putting off a good night’s sleep has adverse effects on your level of productivity. Quality sleep improves your concentration and increases cognitive function, which both help increase productivity. Inadequate sleep, however, leaves you feeling frazzled, which makes you liable to making mistakes that coffee and other forms of pick-me-ups won’t fix.
Enhanced Physical Performance
The effects of sleep deprivation can affect your ability to exercise and perform at your full potential, and this doesn’t just apply to athletes, adventure enthusiasts, and people who work out regularly. Sleep affects every form of physical performance. Adequate sleep helps with muscle recovery, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time which means depriving yourself of sleep negatively impacts your power and physical strength.
Make Quality Sleep a Priority
Adequate sleep is a necessity that’s good for your overall health. A standard of 7 hours or more of uninterrupted sleep is recommended for adults to help promote alertness, performance, productivity, and concentration during the day.
Although there will likely be ebbs to your sleeping patterns, the health benefits of sleep outlined above should help convince you of the importance of aiming to get more sleep.
If you often struggle with initiating sleep, you should consider meditating or establishing a nighttime routine that will help you ease into sleep. It is also vital to rule out the possibility of an underlying sleep disorder.