The True Importance of Sleep
CategoriesCuriosity on Sleep

The True Importance of Sleep

Everybody does it. It’s perfectly natural.

Some do it naked and some do it with their clothes on.

Some do it in a bed, and some do it wherever it pleases them.

Yes, that’s right we’re talking about sleep.

What is sleep? Sleep is one of the fundamental pillars of a happy and healthy life, along with nutrition and exercise. It is the key to maintaining a healthy mind, body, and soul. Below are some of sleep’s great benefits and some reasons why you shouldn’t skip out on it.

What are sleep’s effects on the immune system?

Missing out on sleep can have some serious adverse effects on your immune system. Without enough sleep, your body produces fewer cytokines.

These are types of proteins that prevent infection and inflammation. They are produced and released during sleep, providing a double dose of protection when you’re getting a bit of shuteye.

If your sleep schedule is interrupted by a busy workweek or for any other reason, you should try to stock up on naps. Taking two naps that are no longer than 29 minutes each (according to NASA) has been shown to drastically offset the effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.

Want a healthier heart?

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t get enough sleep are at a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – regardless of age, weight, smoking or exercise habits.

It is not abundantly clear why sleep is linked to a healthier heart. However, studies suggest that lack of sleep causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes like glucose metabolism, blood pressure, and inflammation.

One of the reasons we know how vital sleep is to the heart is that people with sleep apnea (which causes them to wake frequently during the night) are 58% more likely to develop congestive heart failure.

Sleep and mental health

According to Harvard Health, sleep and mental health are very much intertwined. Those who suffer mental health issues are more likely to also suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders.

Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared to only 10% to 18% of adults in the general population.

Studies using different methods and populations estimate that 65% to 90% of adult patients with major depression, and about 90% of children with the disorder, experience some kind of sleep problem.

Weight gain/loss 

It’s no secret that sleeping is vital to your overall physical health. However, studies have shown the links between getting adequate sleep and healthy weight loss.

According to research conducted by Annuals of Internal Medicine, having adequate sleep (7+ hours per night) can lead to significant fat loss.

Furthermore, those that get less than 7 hours sleep will experience 55% less fat loss than those who don’t get their nightly dose of shuteye.

Also, those who are sleep deprived will face significantly less satisfaction after meals and lack the energy to exercise.

So keep up your sleeping game while dieting!

Concentration/ productivity 

Good quality sleep is the key to good brain function. While you sleep, your brain is working hard to consolidate memories and what you´ve learned throughout the day.

It also the time that your brain removes waste products from the brain cells enabling you to think more clearly during the day.

In the brain of an individual who sleeps normally, the brain will show normal metabolism and blood flow to multiple areas of the brain.

Without the proper amount of blood flow, the brain will have difficulty focusing, increased forgetfulness, lack of concentration, decreased problem-solving capabilities, short attention span and learning difficulties.

Remember that quantity and quality of sleep can have a major impact on your health and well being!

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Abigail obtained her BA in Journalism from The University of Nottingham. She joined Emma in August 2018. She is now dedicated to helping others achieve the best night's sleep. Her hobbies include netball, playing the tuba, travelling and of course sleeping.

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