Getting a good night’s rest is just as important for you as what healthy eating and exercise is. In fact, some experts claim it is the single most important thing to ensure you are fit, healthy, and maintaining a good sense of wellbeing.
If you tend to get less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep often, there are a number of important things to consider which could shock you into ensuring you catch up on them zzzzz’s.
Here is a list of reasons as to why getting enough sleep is paramount to leading a healthy lifestyle.
Poor sleep is linked to poor mental health
Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are linked strongly to having poor sleep quality. It has been estimated that over 90% of people who suffer from depression note that their quality of sleep is severely deficient. Sleeping disorders are often considered themselves as a mental health issue, with those that suffer sleep apnea or insomnia having extremely high rates of suicide.
Good sleep can help you lose weight
Sleeping well is vital for keeping up a balanced healthy lifestyle because our sleep quality affects how our body maintains our weight. A lack of sleep causes the body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which is the hormone in your body that also tells your cells to store more fat. In addition, the appetite-controlling hormones of ghrelin and leptin can be affected, making us feel hungry often and less satisfied after eating.
Good sleep improves your athletic performance
If you are a worthy athlete, it might also be worth noting that the amount of sleep you get affects the ways in which you perform in sports. Studies on sports players have shown that sleep deprivation leads to significant decreases in speed, accuracy, reaction time, and general wellbeing. On top of this, a lack of sleep impacts our metabolism, reducing the rates in which the body uses food for fuel, and increasing the rates in which our body stores food as fat instead.
Good sleep improves memory and concentration
Good sleep, means a healthy brain, allowing it to function at the best of its abilities. This means our memory, concentration, and problem-solving will all be significantly impaired. It’s often thought that a severe lack of sleep has similar performance-hindering effects as alcohol intoxication, increasing the number of errors that we make.
Poor sleep affects your mood
We all get a bit grumpy when we don’t get a good night’s rest. Sleep plays a crucial part in regulating our emotions and feelings positively and rationally. Getting good sleep means we will have a good sense of well being. A lack of sleep can cause irritableness, frustration, and general depressive feelings of sadness.
Good sleep maintains a healthy heart
Studies have shown that sleep quality also has a relationship with the health of your heart. Chronic under sleepers have been shown to have significantly unhealthier hearts than those who get the recommended amount of sleep. The stress and chemical imbalance of sleep deprivation cause irregularities in the healthy functioning of the cardiovascular system, increasing your chances of potentially developing severe and problematic heart diseases in later life.
We all love to sleep and would never turn down an opportunity to take a quick nap, but getting the right amount of rest is more important than you think. Not getting enough sleep can cause both psychological and physiological problems. If you feel as though you are suffering from sleep deprivation, perhaps it is time to make some changes to your lifestyle.