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Why is sleep so important? 8 surprising reasons to get enough sleep

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A lack of sleep at night can make you quite cranky the next day. And over time, skimping on sleep can ruin more than just your morning mood. Studies show that regular good sleep can help improve everything from your blood sugar levels to your athletic workouts.

We list the main reasons why you too need your sleep!

Good for your brain, sharper thinking

If you don't get enough sleep, you probably have trouble absorbing and remembering details. That's because sleep plays a huge role in both learning and memory. Without enough sleep, it is difficult to concentrate and absorb new information. Your brain also doesn't have enough time to properly store memories so that you can easily retrieve them later.

Sleep lets your brain catch up, so you're ready for what's to come.

Boost your mood & mood

Another thing your brain does while you sleep is process your emotions. Your mind needs this time to recognize and respond in the right way. If you do that short, you usually have more negative emotional reactions and less positive ones in everyday life.

Chronic lack of sleep can also increase the likelihood of a mood disorder. A large study found that when you suffer from insomnia, you are five times more likely to develop depression, and your risk of anxiety or panic disorders is even higher.

A refreshing sleep will help you hit the reset button on a bad day, improve your outlook on life, and be better prepared to take on challenges.

Healthier heart

While you sleep, your blood pressure drops, giving your heart and blood vessels a little rest. The less sleep you get, the longer your blood pressure stays high over a 24-hour cycle. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, including stroke.

Short-term downtime can therefore pay off in the long term.

Sporting achievements

If your type of sport requires quick bursts of energy, such as wrestling or lifting weights, sleep loss may not affect you as much as doing endurance sports such as running, swimming, and cycling. But of course you are not doing yourself any favors with it.

In addition to robbing you of energy and time for muscle recovery, a lack of sleep saps your motivation, which takes you to the finish line. You will face a greater mental and physical challenge – and you will see slower reaction times.

A good night's sleep ensures that you can perform optimally in all areas.

Sufficient sleep ensures better athletic performance and weight control (fig.)
Sufficient sleep ensures better athletic performance and weight control (fig.)

Weight control

If you are well rested, you will feel less hungry. Sleep deprivation disrupts your brain's hormones — leptin and ghrelin — that control appetite.

When those hormones are out of balance, your resistance to the temptation of unhealthy food also drops considerably. And when you're tired, you're less likely to get up and move your body. Together it is a recipe to gain pounds and pounds.

The time you spend in bed goes hand in hand with the time you spend at the table and in the gym to help you manage your weight.

More stable blood sugar levels

During the deep, slow part of your sleep cycle, the amount of glucose in your blood drops. When you don't spend enough time in this deepest stage of sleep, it means you're not getting that break to allow for a reset. Your body will have a harder time responding to your cells' needs and blood sugar levels.

Make sure you allow yourself to reach and stay in this deep sleep, thus lowering your chance of diabetes to get type 2.

Less inflammation

There is a link between getting enough sleep and reducing inflammation in the body.

A study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology Trusted Source, for example, suggests a link between sleep deprivation and inflammatory bowel disease that affects people's gastrointestinal tract.

The study showed that sleep deprivation can contribute to these diseases – and that these diseases, in turn, can contribute to sleep deprivation. This is how you build a vicious circle.

Fight germs

To help you ward off disease, your immune system identifies and destroys harmful bacteria and viruses in your body. Persistent lack of sleep changes the way your immune cells work. They may therefore attack less quickly, which can make you sick more often.

A good night's sleep now can help you avoid that tired, exhausted feeling, which also prevents you from wanting to spend days in bed while your body tries to recover.

Sleep helps the body to repair, regenerate and recover. The immune system is no exception to this relationship. Some studies show how better sleep quality can help the body fight infection.

However, scientists still need to do further research into the exact mechanisms of sleep regarding its impact on the body's immune system.

Too much of a good thing? Not good for sleeping either!

Sleep needs vary from person to person, but sleeping more than 9 hours a night on average can do more harm than good. Research shows that people who sleep longer build up more calcium in their heart arteries and also develop less flexible leg arteries.

It is best to sleep 7-8 hours each night for maximum health benefits.

Finally about getting enough sleep

Along with diet and exercise, a good night's sleep is one of the pillars of health.

Sleep is an essential, often neglected part of any person's overall health and well-being. Sleep is important because it allows your body to recover and be fit and ready for a new day.

Getting enough rest can also help prevent obesity, heart disease and longer illness.

You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking good care of your sleep!

Sources Harvard (link), Healthline (link), MedicalNewsToday (link), webmd (link)


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