We all know that getting the right amount of sleep is integral to our everyday lives, and helps us remain in good health.
Adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night in order to properly function; of course, this number varies from person to person, but it’s important that we get all the health benefits that come with the right amount of sleep.
With today being World Sleep Day, there’s no better time to raise awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep. Here, we look at five key benefits of a good bit of shut eye.
IT BOOSTS YOUR MOOD
While you’re asleep, your brain processes your emotions – clever, right? If your brain doesn’t have enough time to recognise this (in other words, if you don’t have enough sleep), it can cause your mind to experience more negative reactions than positive ones.
A refreshing night of sleep can help your brain rejuvenate, and essentially hit the reset button on a potentially bad day – therefore, you can wake up the next day feeling much more refreshed.
IT SHARPENS YOUR BRAIN
Sleep plays a large part in our brain’s ability to learn and remember things - that’s why it may be tough to focus and retain information on a lack of sleep.
When you’re asleep, your brain is given the chance to catch up and prepare itself for the day ahead, and has enough time to properly store memories away so you can recall them at a later stage. Overall, having enough sleeps helps you to keep on top of things and battle through each and every day.
IT STEADIES YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
An average person needs four to six cycles of sleep every 24 hours in order to feel well rested. Each cycle lasts around 90 minutes and contains four separate stages: three that form non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and one rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
You may be asking yourself: what relevance does the sleep cycle have with blood sugar? Well, during the deep sleep stage of your sleep cycle, the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood drops, indicating a calm and stress-free state.
Not spending enough time in this sleep stage means that you don’t give your blood sugar the time to rest, and your body will have a harder time responding to its needs. It can also lead to a risk of type 2 diabetes, so enough sleep and deep sleep is of paramount importance.
IT LEADS TO A HEALTHIER HEART
As well as your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure also goes down while you sleep, giving your heart and blood vessels a much-needed rest. The less sleep you get, the longer your blood pressure stays up, and if it remains too high it can lead to heart disease and stroke.
We've have a whole blog on tips to maintain a healthy heart, so for more ways to manage your heart health, read it here.
IT CONTROLS WEIGHT
Being sleep deprived affects both leptin and ghrelin, the hormones in your brain that control your appetite. Plus, when you’re tired, you’re less likely to want to engage in any physical activity. These two aspects together are contributors to weight gain, which getting proper sleep can help you to avoid.
When you have enough sleep, you have more energy to engage in exercise and your resistance to the temptation of unhealthy food increases. Therefore, sleep makes it easier for you to manage your weight.
Clearly, sleep is a key factor in maintaining our overall health, and it has many more benefits than we may realise. The perks of a good night’s sleep are huge, so making it a priority is crucial.