When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? What with the news continuously ablaze with COVID-19 horror stories and social media trolls, it can be hard to switch off.
But not getting enough sleep can affect everything in your life. If you don’t get enough sleep, your relationships with everyone around you can suffer and your work life will also slide. This one of the most basic healthy facts.
There are so many benefits of sleep, but it can be difficult to understand why and how much sleep you need. Here’s everything you need to know.
Getting Your Hours In
Experts say you should get some shut-eye for seven to eight hours a day if you can. Have you ever asked how much sleep should you get? This is the answer.
When your body has the sleep it needs, your immune cells get the rest they need to defend your body. But getting your eight hours is not as easy as just closing your eyes and hoping for the best. You need to get quality sleep.
And that isn’t going to be achieved by looking at phones before you go to bed, which is a habit that can keep your mind awake. Nor will this be achieved by eating heavily before you go to bed.
Remember, if you get eight full hours of sleep, it can also help you lose weight. If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, your body produces ghrelin. This a hormone that can increase your appetite.
Lack of sleep also leads to a reduction in the production of leptin. This is the hormone that indicates to your brain that you’re full.
If you don’t sleep, you get stressed and don’t have the energy to stop those cravings for unhealthy fast food. When we’re irritated and sleep-deprived, we make poor decisions.
Like your immune system, your heart needs downtime to function. Lack of sleep can lead to heart problems such as high blood pressure. Later in life, you can have heart attacks.
Lack of sleep also leads to the release of cortisol. This is a stress hormone that works the heart faster. It’s for the same reason why people tell you not to overdo the gym and make sure you have a proper wind-down time.
If you sleep well, you wake up well-rested. And this tranquillity can also help your energy levels soar in the morning.
No More Mr. Grumpy
If you don’t get your sleep right, you can get in a rage. You will feel vexed due to low energy levels. But why be angry when you can be happy?
You might think that you are enthusiastic about burning your boss’s midnight oil, but a good night’s sleep has harmed your work.
Sleep has actually been associated with improved concentration and advanced cognitive ability, which can help you work more effectively. Go to bed if you can, and thank yourself for it.
If you are struggling to get to sleep, then consider taking some tasty melatonin gummies every night as part of your wind-down routine.
It’s counterproductive to think that by checking email late at night and cramming as much work as you can in you are going to achieve more. What’s the point in doing such work if it’s sloppy and needs redoing? We live in an age where quality matters.
If you’re a writer or a creative person, then you need to get good at deep work. This is work that requires concentration and intense thinking. You can’t do this if you’re continuously tired.
Sleep and Coffee
There is a connection between coffee and sleep. A restless night can make you feel depleted of energy. This makes it more likely that you are going to reach for a pot of coffee as a quick fix.
An afternoon cup may solve the afternoon crash problem you experienced, but the extra caffeine is going to kill any chance of a good night’s sleep.
It’s counter-productive and can only increase your mental and emotional exhaustion. Lay off the coffee.
Reduces Traffic Accidents
According to a report by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, if you sleep between six and seven hours, you double your chances of having a car accident. This compared to if you sleep eight hours a night.
And if you sleep less than five hours, those chances go up four times. Never forget your reaction time decreases when your brain is not resting. Also, remember sleep deprivation affects strength.
So even if you don’t drive but ride a bicycle around, you are also going to struggle to get to where you need to be on time.
Healthy Facts About Sleep: You Need and Crave It
One of the most pressing and simple healthy facts about sleep is that you need it. A full night’s sleep is worth more than any deadline or work that you have going on.
Without it, you can’t function properly and your entire life will suffer—from your personal relationships with friends, partners, and family to your worldview.
In its basic essence, sleep is the process of consolidating the memories of the day before. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t compartmentalize or process what has happened that day. It’s refreshing to think that when we end the day, the next day has a host of possibilities. We can start again.
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