Getting adequate sleep is incredibly essential for your well-being. Getting a good night’s sleep is as important as exercising and eating a balanced nutritious meal. Even though sleep requirements range from individual to individual, many adults need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Nevertheless, 35%-40% of adults in Australia don’t get enough rest. Lack of sleep can put your safety and health in jeopardy. That’s why you must prioritize sleep regularly. This article shows the benefits of getting better sleep.
Benefits of Getting Adequate Rest
Enough Rest Can Assist You in Losing or Maintaining Weight
Many studies have attributed inadequate sleep (less than seven hours every night) to an increased risk of weight gain and higher Body Mass Index (BMI). A 2020 study established that adults who slept for less than seven hours every night had a 41% increased chance of developing obesity. On the other hand, sleeping for more than seven hours did not increase the risk.
The impact of sleep deprivation on weight is believed to be due to several factors, including motivation to exercise and hormones. For example, inadequate sleep increases the levels of ghrelin and reduces leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for making us feel hungry, while leptin signals our body when we’re full. Additionally, sleep deprivation may make you crave foods with high fat and sugar levels to compensate for a lack of energy. Feeling tired when you wake up reduces your motivation to take a walk or go to the gym.
Adequate Sleep Enhances Productivity and Concentration
Adequate rest is essential for several aspects of brain function. Lack of sleep negatively impacts performance, productivity, concentration, and cognitive function. A recent study on overworked physicians revealed that doctors with high sleep impairment levels were likelier to report medical errors. Getting adequate sleep can boost academic performance in young adults, adolescents, and children. Getting sufficient sleep also enhances problem-solving skills and improves memory performance in adults and children.
It also boosts creativity and mental alertness; thus, you’ll be more productive, which translates to higher performance. You’ll accomplish more tasks in a shorter time frame, be more enthusiastic, and respond to things quicker. Inadequate sleep makes it difficult for you to focus, affecting your productivity. Lack of focus results in taking more time to accomplish a single task; thus, you’ll procrastinate other pending tasks.
Sufficient Rest May Strengthen The Heart
Inadequate rest puts you at risk of developing heart disease 13%. Another study established that every -1 decrease in sleep was linked with a 6% increased risk of heart disease and other diseases. Sleeping for a shorter period also increases the chances of developing high blood pressure, particularly in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea — a condition associated with interrupted sleep.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, contact a doctor for solutions on how to deal with it, such as using a travel CPAP machine. Another study also established that individuals who slept for less than five hours had a 61% higher chance of developing high blood pressure than those who slept for more than seven hours. Interestingly, the study also found that adults who slept for over nine hours had a higher chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease.
Getting Enough Sleep Reduces Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Sleeping for a short time at night is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A recent study established that individuals who slept for very short periods (five hours or less) and short periods (seven hours or less) increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 48% and 18%, respectively.
Lack of sleep causes physiological changes such as reduced insulin sensitivity, hunger, hormone changes, increased inflammation, greater food intake, and poor decision making, all of which increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Decreased insulin sensitivity leads to the body’s build-up of glucose, which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Inadequate sleep also causes cortisol, the stress hormone, to be released. This hormone makes it difficult for glucose to get absorbed in the body, accumulating in your bloodstream. Additionally, inadequate sleep is linked to an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and obesity. All these factors are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Adequate Sleep Enhances Your Immune System
Sleep deprivation impairs the immune system. People who sleep for less than five hours every night are more likely to develop a cold than those who sleep for more than seven hours. Some studies indicate that adequate sleep may improve your body’s antibody response to the influenza vaccine.
As you sleep, muscle activity and breathing slow down; thus, specific immune system components are produced. For example, there’s an increased production of cytokines associated with inflammation. The production of cytokines helps in the strengthening of adaptive immunity. Getting enough rest also helps in strengthening immune memory. This is because components of the immune system interact when we’re asleep, reinforcing the immune system’s ability to remember foreign bodies.
When you rest, your body is usually hard at work restoring hormonal balance, repairing itself, and keeping the immune and circulatory systems functioning correctly. Getting enough rest allows you to be alert and energetic, lose weight, socialize, and learn.