Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating a balanced, nutritious diet and exercising regularly.
Of course, sleep doesn’t have just one biological purpose but, in fact, is an important contributor to the proper functioning of nearly all of the systems of the body. Here are 10 reasons sleep is so essential to us:
- It’s Great for Your Brain
Good sleep has been proven to maximise problem-solving skills and enhance memory and brain function. In contrast, poor sleep has been shown to impair brain function and decision-making skills. Cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance are all negatively affected by sleep deprivation
When you’re running low on sleep, you’ll probably have trouble holding onto and recalling details. Without enough sleep, it’s tough to focus and take in new information. Your brain also doesn’t have enough time to properly store memories so you can pull them up later.
- ZZZs Keep You Positive
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and or lack of sufficient sleep. People with sleeping disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also report higher rates of depression than those without.
A refreshing slumber can help you hit the reset button on a bad day, improve your outlook on life, and be better prepared to meet everyday challenges.
- Supports a Healthy Immune System
It is believed that deep sleep plays an important role in the recuperation of the body and germ fighting, as well as aiding effective thinking and memory.
Lack of sleep has been shown to impair immune function. Some data also suggests that proper sleep may improve your body’s antibody responses to certain vaccines.
- Balances your Emotions
Prioritising sleep may be a key way to improve your outlook on life, and your relationships with others and help you become more social. This is especially true because sleep-deprived people are more likely to withdraw from social events and experience loneliness.
When we’re tired, we have a harder time controlling emotional outbursts and our behaviours in front of others. Tiredness may also affect our ability to respond to humour and show empathy. Getting a good night’s sleep regularly can help to regulate and balance our emotional state.
- Can Boost Athletic Performance
Getting enough sleep may be just the thing you need to take your fitness training to the next level. That’s another very good reason why we should ensure we get enough quality sleep time.
Studies have shown that adequate sleep can enhance fine motor skills, reaction time, muscular power and muscular endurance. On the other hand, a lack of sleep may increase your risk of injury and lower your motivation to exercise.
- May Reduce Inflammation
Sleep plays a vital role in the regulation of our central nervous system. In particular, it’s involved in the stress-response systems known as the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
Sleep loss, especially from disturbed sleep, can activate inflammatory signalling pathways and lead to higher levels of undesirable markers of inflammation. Over time, chronic inflammation can cause the development of many chronic conditions, including obesity, heart disease and cancer.
- Helps you Maintain or Lose Weight
Prioritising sleep may support a healthy body weight. Numerous studies have associated short sleep (defined as sleeping fewer than 7 hours per night) with a greater risk of weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI).
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be affected by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.
Various studies have revealed that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories. What’s more, to compensate for lack of energy, sleep deprivation may make you crave foods higher in sugar and fat, due to their higher calorie content.
- Promotes a Healthier Heart
While you sleep, your blood pressure goes down, giving your heart and blood vessels a rest. Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease and infections. Throughout the night, your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure rise and fall, a process that may be important for cardiovascular health.
Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, type 2 diabetes and depression. Some of these health problems raise the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. (www.cdc.gov) Good nightly rest has a great impact and long-term payoff on your heart health
- Steadier Blood Sugar
During the deep, slow-wave part of your sleep cycle, the amount of glucose in your blood drops. Not enough time in this deepest stage means you don’t get that break to allow a reset and your body has a harder time responding to your cells’ needs and blood sugar levels.
Allow yourself to reach and remain in ‘deep sleep’ and you’re less likely to get type 2 diabetes.
- Keeps you Balanced
Sleep helps you maintain your physical abilities and also keeps your body correctly balanced. Studies show sleep deprivation leads to short-term balance problems.
That’s called postural instability and can lead to injuries and falls. Even mild instability can cause problems during sports or exercise.
The Bottom Line:
Taking care of your sleep is one of the pillars of health. Just like you prioritise your diet and physical activity, it’s time to give sleep the attention it deserves. At The Bed Centre we stock the best beds and mattresses from all the top brands in South Africa. We care about your health and our knowledgeable staff will help you find the correct product that suits your needs.
Browse our mattresses and discover the best products for achieving deep and restorative sleep.