Everyone knows the difference between waking up after a night of minimal sleep and a night of great, sound sleep. The former contributes to sluggishness, while the latter enhances energy levels and improves mood. A good night’s sleep is a vital aspect to overall health that people often neglect. In fact, getting sufficient sleep every night is just as important as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Nowadays, people don’t embrace the need for quality sleep. Insufficient sleep is a problem and it puts your health and safety at risk. Sleep deprivation is very dangerous and you can learn more about the side effects by clicking here. The reality is that you should prioritize sleep if you want to improve your overall health. Continue reading to learn about the health benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Blood Sugar Regulation
A good night of sleep can help regulate metabolism, whereas a poor night of sleep can negatively affect metabolism. One of the standout negatives of sleep deprivation is fluctuating blood sugar levels, which can be a problem for people with type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar extremes can affect your energy levels, mood, and cognitive function, so prioritize sleep for optimal regulation.
In addition to regulating metabolism, sleep also helps to regulate the central nervous system. Specifically, sleep influences the stress-response systems: the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Sleep enhances immune defenses and the signals from immune cells can promote sleep. Sleep loss actually activates inflammatory pathways, whereas a good night’s sleep helps reduce markers of inflammation.
Become More Alert
When you wake up after a good night of sleep, it’s common to feel energized and alert. There’s no need for a steaming cup of coffee because sleep helps improve focus and drive. Not only is it easier to function when you are well-rested, but it’s also common to be energetic and ready for exercise. An indirect benefit of sleep, if you will, is a desire to move the body. When you are more alert and active throughout the day, there’s a higher chance of sleeping more soundly at night.
Reduce Risk Of Weight Gain
Over the years, several studies linked poor sleep patterns to obesity, but this link is not entirely clear. A more recent study found that there is not a strong connection between being obese and sleep deprivation. The reality is that a lack of sleep can affect a person’s desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Lack of sleep also causes the body to produce more ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite. The body may also produce less leptin, which is a hormone that signals fullness. That combination is a recipe for overeating!
Strengthen The Heart
According to several studies, lack of sleep or low sleep quality may increase the risk of heart disease. One analysis of 19 studies found that sleeping less than seven hours per night contributed to a 13% increase of the risk of death from heart disease. Sleep allows the body to naturally regulate blood pressure, and insufficient sleep interferes with this natural process. One study found that people who sleep less than five hours per night had a 61% higher risk of developing high blood pressure than people who sleep seven hours per night.
More Social And Emotional Intelligence
There is a link between sleep and a person’s emotional and social intelligence. What does this mean? This means that someone with inadequate sleep may have difficulty recognizing the emotions and expressions from other people. In one study in the Journal of Sleep Research, researchers looked at people’s emotional responses to emotional stimuli. The findings indicated that a person’s emotional empathy was less after experiencing inadequate sleep.
Better Immune Function
Several studies found a link between lack of sleep and poor immune function. One study, for example, found that people who slept fewer than five hours per night were 4.5 times more likely to develop a cold. The comparative group who slept seven hours nightly had a much lower risk of developing a cold. Additionally, people who slept 5-6 hours per night were 4.24 times more likely to develop a cold. Preliminary data suggests that getting enough sleep before and after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine may improve vaccine efficacy. More research is necessary, though.
One of the greatest things about sleep is that it allows the body to recover from the day. Continuing to burn the midnight oil can lead to sleep deprivation, which releases more stress hormones. Stress causes the body to react in negative ways that are often rash and not conducive to overall health. Additionally, a poor night’s sleep increases feelings of anxiety, which compounds stress.