10 Reasons Why Sleep Is Important
A good night sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it is as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, the modern environment is interfering with natural sleep patterns.
People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
Here are 10 reasons why good sleep is important.
1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain. People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. In fact, short sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
If you’re trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.
2. Good Sleepers Tend to Eat Fewer Calories
Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories.
Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily functions in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation. Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don’t.
3. Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation.
Good sleep can maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. Poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function.
4. Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance
Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance. A study in over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength and greater difficulty performing independent activities.
Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.
5. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
It’s known that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors. These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease.
Sleeping less than 7–8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Sleep Affects Glucose Metabolism and Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Experimental sleep restriction affects blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity. Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population.
Those sleeping less than six hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
7. Poor Sleep Is Linked to Depression
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.
It has been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality. Poor sleep is even associated with an increased risk of death by suicide.
Those with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without.
8. Sleep Improves Your Immune Function
If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Eating more garlic can help as well.
Getting at least eight hours of sleep can improve your immune function and help fight the common cold.
9. Poor Sleep Is Linked to Increased Inflammation
Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in your body. In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.
Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases.
10. Sleep Affects Emotions and Social Interactions
Sleep deprivation may reduce your social skills and ability to recognize people’s emotional expressions.
The Bottom Line
Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health.
You simply can not achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.