Are you tempted to trade your sleep for a few hours of wakefulness? Perhaps you’ve not discovered the secret. Sleep is so precious and lack of it has hidden costs.
Nevertheless, let me say this straight, sleeping well is not a guarantee of good health but it does a good job maintaining most vital functions in the body.
However, numerous studies have associated lack of sleep with serious medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity most of which often go unnoticed.
Most surprising, inadequate sleep can also lead to a shortened lifespan. In the following section, I will discuss with you why sleeping better is important. As a bonus, you will also learn how to improve your sleep quality.
Let’s get started;
The moment we sleep, our body wakes up and starts working hard for two reasons. First off is to help your brain function properly and secondly to promote healing and repair of cells, blood vessels, and organs.
When you are having a quality night sleep this is the time your heart and blood vessels repairs and heal up. This helps to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. For instance, the hormone insulin, which controls the level of blood sugar, is affected by sleep.
Quality sleep ensures balanced levels of blood sugars while lack of sleep will cause the sugar levels to rise and this increase your risks of developing type II diabetes.
That is not all; adequate sleep promotes hormonal balance for a functioning immune system. The body immunity plays a vital role to defend the body against harmful pathogens and other foreign substances.
When your immune system is strong, it saves you from the contracting some immune-based diseases. However, the lack of adequate sleep weakens your body immunity. If your immune system is weak, then the body will struggle to fight away common infections.
Another good thing about consistent quality sleep is that your cognitive ability will improve. Because of this, you will be able to learn and solve problems with ease.
Conversely, inadequate sleep has been linked to depression and anxiety. Depression is known to impair judgment; as a result, you may find yourself making poor decisions most of the time.
On the other hand, lack of enough sleep has also been associated with increased risk of obesity. While asleep, your body hormones particularly the Leptin (that makes you feel full) and Ghrelin (that makes you feel hungry) are in balance.
The lack of adequate sleep stimulates secretion of ghrelin hormone and suppression of leptin levels. This makes you feel hungrier and you respond by eating more and in turn, increases your risk of becoming obese.
Lastly but not the least sleep promotes the secretion of growth hormones which brings about growth and development. Poor quality sleep inhibits production of these hormones and this may prevent proper healing process and overall growth.
How To Improve Sleep Quality?
To improve the quality of sleep you need to pay attention to your sleep habits. Here are some tips that can help you alleviate sleep problems and improve your overall sleep quality.
Care about right sleeping surface
Long story short, mattress that doesn’t fit your sleeping position, that is too soft or too firm, too old or made using harmful chemicals can significantly worsen your sleep and vice versa. If you don’t have a bunch of money to invest in a expensive mattress – mattress topper may be your answer. This article explains how to choose it.
Try some exercises
Studies have found that carrying out physical exercises during the day can make a world of difference to the way you sleep. Exercises increase circulation and awaken the nervous system, however, avoid exercising too close to the bedtime so that you don’t become too alert to sleep.
Avoid caffeine and nicotine
Caffeine in coffee, tea, energy drinks, headache table and some diet pills not forgetting the nicotine in tobacco are stimulants. Consuming this stuff close to bedtime will stimulate your nervous system and this will keep you awake and reduce your sleep quality.
Reduce alcohol intake
It is true alcohol can help you get to sleep because it is a depressant. However, it stimulates your body to exhibit withdrawal systems. On top of this, you will feel dehydrated as it is absorbed; this will make it difficult for you to remain asleep.
Harmonize your sleep environment
Make sure your bedroom is ideal and comfortable for you. Make sure it is well aerated and the temperatures are cool and soothing. Also, keep noises to amino and avoid artificial lights from phones and TVs because they can stimulate you.
Stick to your sleep schedule
Remember that you need at least 7 hours of sleep to be healthy. Therefore, you need to be consistent with your body’s sleep cycle. Try something that is relaxing and soothing if you are unable to sleep as soon as you jump into bed.
Statistics show that many people are already suffering from sleep deprivation. Fortunately, simple changes outlined above can improve sleep quality. In recap, let us not forget that sleep is precious. Therefore, while you focus on your health, sleep should also be on the list of your priorities.