Published on December 9, 2020 by Cori Grămescu
Proper sleep seems obvious but stress, a hectic and exhausting schedule, makes it difficult so let’s remember why rest is important for your health in many ways.
Sleep deprivation affects most people
We underestimate the power of sleep! In a very competitive world, for a long time we valued hard work and over-hours, rarely thinking of what this sort of behavior actually does to our overall health. To put it straight: it’s destructive! Add a poor way of eating, lack of exercise and under-sleeping and you have the recipe for disaster. To get on a path to a healthier lifestyle, there are some good ideas to get you started.
62% of adults worldwide feel that they don’t sleep well when they go to bed. It is just the essence of the 2019 Philips Global Sleep Survey, answered by over 11,000 adults from 12 countries. Meantime, with the rise of a global pandemic and the worries that came along with it, the numbers might be higher these days, but the idea still stands: sleep deprivation affects many of us.
Sleep deprivation is linked to lower productivity at work, higher mortality risk – as an individual that sleeps on average less than six hours a night has a 13% higher mortality risk than someone sleeping between 7 and 9 hours – and multiple other factors such as excessive alcohol and sugary drinks consumption, obesity or mental health problems.
Why sleep matters
Thus, sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being so we shouldn’t neglect its importance anymore. Sleep enables the body to repair itself and be fit for another day and it also prevents excess weight gains and heart disease, among other benefits.
Don’t forget: when you feel something is wrong with you and you start looking for a cause, check if you get enough sleep and if you rest well over night! Sleep is essential for our well-being so don’t mess up staying awake long into the night.
If you are not yet convinced why a good night sleep matters a lot, let me give you more benefits to think about.
Sleep helps reduce stress
For most of us, stress has become a feeling we learned to live with. Even if stress damages our health, it is very hard to be aware of it and control its intensity just with the power of will and intention. In this case, sleep can be one of the few remedies that can fight against stress hormones as it eases our nervous system and helps it relax overnight.
Sleep helps maintain your weight
Even if sleep won’t make you lose weight, it will help you regulate hormones that affect your appetite, thus reducing cravings for high calorie foods. Many of us experienced by now those moments when we are dead tired and feel like eating sweets to get energized and push ourselves a little bit more when, instead, we should just get a nap or a good sleep.
Sleep can lower blood pressure
A high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Sleep can reduce it because it relaxes our bodies. You can also add exercise, low sodium consumption and reduced alcohol intake to make sure your blood pressure doesn’t go crazy.
Sleep puts you in a better mood
Lack of sleep makes us feel grumpy and agitated. If you ever missed a good night sleep, you know the effects this has on your body and mind the next day. Everybody sucks, the world is an awful place and nothing works in your favor. When we are tired, we tend to overreact and easily get annoyed by anything. A good night sleep prevents such moods and keeps us calm, controlled and reasonable.
Sleep can make you smarter
How can sleep make you smarter? It simply refreshes your brain, making it easier to learn and remember new information. Briefly put, sleep increases your brain power and the amount of grey matter (major component of the nervous system). Studies show that when we allow our bodies to rest more, it helps our brains — with memory, concentration and focus.
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