Many studies have shown that healthy adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
Sleep is something that many would say they do not get enough of. Between work, social interactions, hobbies, travel and more, it can become difficult to prioritize those 7 or 8 hours of rest each night.
While everyone knows that sleep is crucial for health, how many people are actually aware of the specific ways in which the lack of a good night’s rest can influence day-to-day life? In this article we take a look at just that, exploring four essential reasons why healthy sleep patterns are a must.
Decreased Risk of Weight Gain
According to Harvard School of Public Health and many other researchers/doctors in the field, insufficient sleep is linked to a heightened risk of obesity. One reason for this is that when a body is not at rest, it is free to partake in late-night snacking or eating right before bed, two things that are not helpful for digestion.
Additionally, a body’s metabolism slows down when it is not getting adequate rest, aside from promoting an increase in appetite and hunger. Of course, there are other factors that may contribute to weight gain, but a good night’s sleep undoubtedly lowers the risk.
Better Performance, Productivity and Concentration
The brain is the body’s most vital organ, so it is extremely important to let it recharge each day by sleeping. Depriving yourself from rest can mean the difference between a slower functioning brain that may suffer from memory loss and poor cognition, and an alert one that is ready and able to take on the day ahead.
This is especially crucial for athletes to understand, as their performances can be dramatically influenced by lack of sleep. Fortunately, nowadays sleep’s important is not understated by those participating in any sport. For example, the NFL is using sleep science to help their players get the rest their bodies need before gameday. Likewise, runners’ factor adequate sleep into their training plan to ensure they can get in the miles they need to. Sleep also plays a big role in concentration, and no one knows that more than pro poker players. In this intense, strategic game, tiredness can cause more mistakes than any other ailment. Therefore, being well rested is essential for optimal performance.
Whether it’s long-distance running, playing poker, engaging in a game of football, or just working out at the gym, sleep is essential for athletic performance
Aside from aiding in weight loss and performance, sleep also helps with improving mood. Just think about it- how many times have you woken up from a bad night’s rest feeling irritable and grouchy? Well, that’s because sleep deprivation is directly linked to mood. The more sleep we get, the more recharged and happier we will be in the morning.
In the same way, that feeling of overt tiredness can affect your social life as you may not desire to be in big groups or have the ability to maintain conversations for very long without feeling the need to sleep. Of course, lack of sleep can increase the risk of major health problems like heart disease and diabetes, but it can also influence our smaller everyday tasks and interactions as well.
Stronger Immune System
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the main ways to strengthen the body’s immune system. In fact, studies have shown that good sleep can boost T-cells in the body which work to fight off disease and infection. On the contrary, people who do not get adequate sleep may be more likely to get sick as these infection-fighting antibodies become less plentiful. Entire processes are at work when you sleep, and this is just one of them. Every body needs those extended hours of rest that are afforded to them at night. While a body will be able to function without 7 or more hours of sleep, it may not do so to its maximum ability.