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“VITAL TO YOUR HEALTH”

by Contributor

xiangying_xu, Pixabay, License

(May 17, 2020) — Enough sleep is not something many people would say they are privileged to get. Luckily, you only feel the side effects of it for a short while after waking up, and then everything goes back to normal, right? Wrong!

Sleep is vital to your health, and terrible sleep patterns can affect more than your mood in the morning when you wake up. Here are 13 surprising reasons why getting enough sleep is underrated:

  1. Sufficient Sleep Improves Your Concentration

You have probably heard that getting a full night’s sleep can keep you energetic, lively, and productive for the rest of the day. It is true, but how does the body achieve this?

Sleeping allows your body to rest and reset in preparation for the next day. It helps calm your mind and prevent your attention from wandering. In the process, it reduces the risk of mistakes as you perform your tasks.

Not getting enough sleep deprives your body and brain of the energy it requires to function the following day properly. It impairs your concentration, attention span, risk assessment, strategic thinking, and reaction times.

If you have crucial decisions to make or are required to operate machinery, it is wise to get sufficient sleep the night before.

  1. It improves your memory and learning ability

The mind is one of the biggest beneficiaries of a good night’s sleep. Repairing and rebuilding take place when the brain is at rest and there is little going through it.

When you sleep, the brain processes and puts to rights everything you absorbed during the day, transforming them from short-term memories to long-term memories. This makes you a better learner and helps you see things clearly when you wake up.

  1. It boosts your heart health

Irregular sleep patterns can make you more susceptible to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease. According to researchers, there is a link between disrupting your sleeping habits and the sympathetic nervous system. This system is responsible for “fight and flight,” or how your body is calibrated to react to danger.

The sympathetic nervous system is also charged with activating your cardiovascular system and bracing you for wake-up. One of the processes that takes place at this time or right before you wake up is a rise in blood pressure. If you stay awake for an extended period, your body may struggle to make up for this daily rise and fall in blood pressure.

  1. It helps with insulin regulation

Poor sleep has been associated with a reduced ability to perform insulin regulation normally. The work of insulin in the body is to regulate blood sugar levels. Lack of proper sleep disrupts this cycle and puts you at risk of developing other illnesses.

  1. Improves your immune health

Getting sufficient sleep can strengthen your immune system and make you more resistant to infections. As stated above, rest gives your body ample time to repair, which explains why you have an increased urge to stay in bed when you are sick.

As you sleep at night or during the day, the cells and proteins that make up your immune system regenerate, repairing any damage and bolstering your body’s ability to detect and fight off foreign antigens that may conspire to enter your body.

It also increases the presence of memory cells and ensures your defense mechanism knows what it is fighting in case of a repeat invasion.

  1. It bolsters your emotional health

When you have emotional stress or have a lot you are thinking about, you may struggle to find sleep. Sleep deprivation is also known to cause emotional distress, meaning one could cause the other, resulting in a vicious cycle of insufficient sleep and worry.

Albeit not all cases of poor sleep are caused by emotional distress, and not all cases of emotional instability are the product of poor sleep, treating one can significantly moderate the other.

For better sleep, try practicing mindfulness or jotting your concerns down in a diary before going to bed. Also, consider taking CBD right before retiring. Visit this site for CBD-infused products.

  1. Good sleep is good for weight loss

Women who sleep for five hours daily are more likely to gain weight and eventually become obese than those who had seven hours of sleep. If this research is anything to go by, then a bedtime difference of as little as one hour is nothing to sniff at.

The explanation for this is that depriving yourself of sleep reduces your leptin levels and increases your ghrelin levels. Leptin and ghrelin stimulate the feelings of fullness and hunger, respectively.

  1. Sleep increases your sex drive

According to professionals an hour’s increase in sleep time translates to a 14 percent upturn in the chances of a woman sleeping with her partner. The link between sleep and sex drive is in the fact that shuteye has something to do with mood, which is the bodily function behind the urge to have sex.

Additionally, the body may struggle to produce sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen when it doesn’t get enough sleep. It instead produces cortisol and other stress hormones, which may result in infertility, decreased sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.

  1. Sleep Enhances Athletic Performance

When we sleep, our tissues heal and our cognition strengthens, readying our bodies for exertion. When sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t get the time it requires to plan and execute these processes.

Researchers have found that sleep deprivation in athletes reduces their ability to make quick decisions, while enough sleep increases one’s accuracy. Accuracy and quick thinking are incredibly essential in sports that call for the use of the mind.

There’s also proof of a connection between rest and hormone secretion in humans, where athletes who slept well were found to secrete more hormones than those who didn’t. With an increase in the production of chemicals such as the Human Growth Hormone (HGH), an athlete is likely to experience better bone and muscle growth as well as optimized fat and sugar metabolism.

  1. It reduces negative emotions

Lots of theories exist explaining the association between sleep and negativity. Professionals who focus on the amygdala – a part of the brain believed to control emotions – found that sleep deprivation led to a greater response to negative pictures and other emotional triggers. Subjects who had enough sleep showed a less dramatic reaction to the same images, leading to the conclusion that sleep-deprived individuals were more vulnerable to negativity.

  1. Insufficient sleep keeps you safe

People who get less than 7 hours of sleep are more likely to be responsible for a road crash. The risk is even higher for people who sleep for less than 4 hours.

While the dangers of driving while tired and drowsy are apparent, there is statistical evidence of the link between sleep deprivation and the chances of being involved in a crash. Researchers conducted in-depth scrutiny of more than 5,400 crashes. They found that drivers who had had less than four hours of sleep the night before the crash were a whopping 15 times more likely to be responsible for an accident than those who had slept for the recommended 7-9 hours in the preceding 24 hours. To prove the direct proportionality, drivers who had slept for four, five, and six hours were 2.9, 1.9, and 1.3 times more likely to have caused an accident than those who slept 7-9 hours.

  1. Sleep improves communication

As stated above, sleep deprivation takes a toll on your ability to control your emotions. When this is the case, your friendships and romantic relationships suffer the most. Research shows that conflicts are more likely in relationships where one party doesn’t get enough sleep.

When you are sleepy, you are not only unable to withhold negative emotions but also unable to resolve conflict.

  1. Better skin

Apparently, getting enough sleep has an effect on your appearance, too. Lack of enough sleep has been linked to skin sagging and the development of wrinkles on the face and dark circles around the eyes. The reason for this is that tissues and organs are supplied with or ridden of excessive replenishing fluids during sleep. Disruption of this cycle is one of the reasons sleep-deprived people are more likely to have fluid bags under their eyes.

Lack of sleep also creates ground for inflammation and increases the release of stress hormones, which combined, aggravate eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems.

Conclusion

Sleep deprivation is full of side effects. If your lack of sleep is deliberate, you should tweak your schedule and ensure you get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. If you have no control over your terrible sleep patterns, say, because you have sleep apnea, consult with a doctor or sleep specialist for guidance.

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