Most adults need around 7 to 8 hours of good-quality sleep each night. Getting enough sleep isn't only about total hours of sleep. It's also important to get good-quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up. A good night's rest also provides us with so many advantages to our health.
Sleeping is a normal body function. Yet there are many health Benefits of Sleep. A full 8-hour sleep a day can help you to:
1) Reduce stress and improve your mood
When we don't sleep enough, our bodies go into "fight or flight" mode. During this, our bodies become stressed. This happens because when we don't get enough sleep, our brain releases stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine.
When we experience stress, our mood undergoes significant changes, often leading to increased agitation, frustration, anxiety, and moodiness. Finding effective ways to manage stress is crucial for our overall well-being. One valuable approach to stress support is ensuring we get a restful night's sleep. Adequate sleep can play a vital role in alleviating stress levels. However, if persistent stress symptoms persist despite efforts to improve sleep, it is advisable to seek an appointment with a doctor, as it may indicate an underlying issue that requires professional attention.
2) Restore Energy
Sleep is the body's natural recharger. According to Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at NIH, "Sleep services all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood."
Good quality of sleep can improve our energy levels both physically and mentally. However, getting fewer than six hours of sleep per night is a significant risk factor for burnout at work.
Sleep gives you the energy to think more clearly, focus better, and have quicker reflexes. "The fact is, when we look at well-rested people, they're operating at a different level than people trying to get by on 1 or 2 hours less nightly sleep," says Mitler.
Napping is another excellent way to regain energy. 20 to 90 minutes of shut eyes in length can improve your energy levels and sleep quality.
3) Restore Stamina
Developing stamina and endurance requires good physical and mental health. The primary way to achieve this is through quality sleep. A good amount of sleep will improve Energy and Stamina and enhance endurance performance. While sleep deprivation will lead to decreased stamina and quicker exhaustion. It can also lead to a reduced reaction time and lower accuracy.
4) Stay at a Healthy Weight
According to research, people who sleep less than 7 hours a day are more likely to gain weight. One reason is that a lack of proper sleep causes a hormonal change in us, which may make us more hungry.
Hormones are chemicals in our body that help regulate many of our bodily functions, including our appetite. Studies found that people who get less than five hours of sleep a night show increased levels of the hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of the hormone leptin, which can increase the chances of becoming obese. However, by improving your Sleep quality, you'd have a higher ability to lose weight.
5) Get sick less often
People who sleep the recommended period are less likely to get sick. Because during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. This protein aids in fighting infections, diseases, and inflammation. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines.
6) Lower risks for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease
According to research, good quality of sleep may decrease our chances of developing diabetes and heart and blood vessel ( cardiovascular ) disease. One reason is that insufficient or fragmented sleep may contribute to problems with blood pressure and heighten the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart attacks.
Jobs of Leptin and Ghrelin Hormones
What is Sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene involves steps to get better sleep. This includes a healthy environment and habits that can help you have a good night's sleep. To gain good sleep hygiene, we need to:
1) Sleep in a dark room
Humans are not nocturnal. So we can sleep better in dark places. Ensure your room fits that criteria. But if you can't get a dark room, then try an eye mask.
2) Get up early morning sunshine
Exposure to light during the early morning helps to refresh your brain and let your body know it's time to wake up.
3) Sleep at night
Remember, our body naturally wants to sleep at night. But continuous bad sleep habits make sleeping more difficult. To regain a better sleep quality, sleep at night.
4) Keep your room cool
Make sure the room is at the right temperature. For most people, this is between 17 to 19°C. But if you can't do this, then don't worry. The coolest you can do will work.
5) Stick to a sleep schedule
Go to sleep and get up every day at the same time, even on weekends. Soon this routine will help your body and mind maintain the schedule, and you'll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
6) Sleep in a quiet room
Loud noises ruin sleep. So sleep in a quiet room. But if you can't control the noise, buy a pair of earplugs.
7) Use the bedroom only for sleep
You need to retain your brain to fall asleep. Avoid watching tv, talking to friends, or studying in the place you sleep. Eventually, your mind will associate your bedroom with sleep and make it easier to get a good night's rest.
8) Use a comfortable pillow and mattress
You need to relax to sleep. So invest in a comfortable pillow and mattress that provide you with the correct level of support.
9) Avoid alcohol
Drinking before bed does help you doze off, but it ruins your sleep patterns. This means you won't feel refreshed in the morning. Try avoiding alcohol. Other drawbacks include frequently waking to go to the toilet.
10) Avoid cigarettes
People need to relax to fall asleep. Cigarettes do the opposite. Some people may say it helps you relax, but nicotine actually does the opposite. It causes your body to feel stressed and ruins sleep. Ideally, cigarettes should be avoided altogether, especially two hours before bed.
Sleep problems are often caused by bad sleeping habits reinforced over the years. To improve this, you need to improve your sleep hygiene. However, sleep quality won't happen as soon as changes are made. But if the good sleep habits are maintained, it will undoubtedly get better.
Herbal remedies for sleep
We all know the Importance of Sleep. If you've tried Holistic wellness ( sleep hygiene ) but still can't get a good night's rest, then try out some Natural sleep aids.
1) Magnesium Rich Food
Lack of sleep is usually caused because we don't have the proper nutrients. Magnesium is one of them. Enough magnesium will help calm your body and help you sleep better.
Studies suggest smelling lavender oil before bed is enough to improve sleep quality in those with and without insomnia.
3) Melatonin Rich Food
Research shows that melatonin helps people fall asleep quicker. This may benefit people with sleep disorders and those who work at night and need daytime sleep.
Types of Sleep
Sleep is divided into two types, ie. REM sleep or dreaming sleep and non - Rem or quiet sleep.
Rem is the second stage of sleep. According to studies from Harvard Medical School, REM sleep can make learning and memory easier. People tested to see how well they had learned a new task and improved their scores after a good night's sleep. But if they were prevented from having REM sleep, then the improvements were lost.
By contrast, if they were awakened an equal number of times from deep sleep, the improvements in the scores were unaffected.
Non-REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) Sleep
This is the first stage in your sleep cycle and includes three parts. The last part of non-REM is known as deep sleep or slow wave sleep. This period is the time when your body renews and repairs itself. It also appears to be the one that plays the most significant role in increasing your ability to make ATP ( Adenosine triphosphate ), the body's energy molecule.
At the beginning of the last non-REM sleep, your body's pituitary gland releases a pulse of growth hormone that stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair.
It's hard to wake up from this stage of sleep. But if successful, then the person will wake up feeling less refreshed than a person who got adequate deep sleep.
( Rapid eye movement ) sleep or dreaming sleep.
Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep. Enough sleep can improve energy, stamina, and overall health. However, if sleeping seven hours a night is difficult, you can try improving your sleep hygiene and nutrition intake. That way, you'd be refreshed, energetic, and in the best of health.