Sleep has countless benefits for our health. Better sleep contributes to health the same way as sufficient water intake, a nutritious diet, physical workout, and other wellness prerequisites. Sleep is also a natural defense mechanism against health challenges. The human body carries out healing and repair processes during sleep. It helps the mind and body to reset and prepare for better functions in the wakefulness cycle.
Lack of sleep interrupts vital organ functions and disturbs their natural circadian rhythm. And sleep deprivation has a long-term impact on your well-being even if you spare more time for rest to compensate for the damage the following days. It hampers the body’s chemical equilibrium and hormonal balance and reduces the body’s resilience against health complications.
Sleep deprivation is also one of the prominent risk factors for health complications like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, gastrointestinal diseases, and malignancies, leading to premature mortality. Hence, do not trade off sleep if you want to live healthily.
The following sections explore some vital benefits of getting sufficient and quality sleep.
Pleasant Mood And Better Concentration
As your body physically exerts throughout the day, it gets exhausted. Rest relieves physical and mental fatigue and stress, and you feel better after a good night’s sleep. Your body triggers a sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin when you are asleep. Melatonin counterbalances cortisol production and imparts a calming effect on your mood. Better sleep also improves your decision-making capabilities, so you can resolve or overlook matters without overstressing and needless thought-processing.
In contrast, sleep deficiency increases stress levels and mood fluctuations when an already overworked body has to reengage. So, to get a good night’s sleep, create a soothing bedroom environment and ensure that your bed is cozy and comfortable. People often don’t spare much thought for their mattresses – but it can make or break a good night’s sleep. We’d suggest you invest in a good quality mattress to ensure proper sleep.
And finding one online is as easier as ever. For instance, if you’re in Singapore, open Google and type in “good mattress Singapore” to get the best quality mattresses available in your region. Your mood will stabilize on its own as you restock your energy after a quality slumber.
Healthy Heart Functions
Sleep is crucial for heart health and fitness. Better sleep helps control stress, maintain a stable blood pressure level, and minimize heart health problems. Studies suggest that poor sleep contributes to the likelihood of hypertension and other coronary heart diseases. Sleep deficiency triggers cortisol production and raises stress levels even when carrying out routine chores. A higher cortisol level means your body is engaged in a fight-and-flight mode.
Moreover, higher cortisol production and stress levels keep blood pressure and heart rate elevated for an extended period. Hypertension or high blood pressure can rupture delicate blood vessels and arteries anywhere in the body. And unfortunately, hypertension is one of the leading risk factors for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, microvascular disease, and others. Hence, look after your heart health and maintain a good night’s sleep every day.
Better Digestive Health
Scientists call the gut the second nervous system, given its role in overall health and well-being. The symbiotic interaction between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain can promote resilience against illnesses or compromise health. Since sleep disturbances affect cognitive functions, the consequences reflect various gastrointestinal tract complications.
For instance, lack of sleep hampers gastrointestinal processes and the gut microbiome. Harmful bacteria in the gut superimpose healthy bacteria and disturb microbiome balance when your body is overworked and sleep-deprived. As a result, a sleep-deprived person can experience several gastrointestinal problems like frequent digestive reflexes, heartburn, indigestion, bloating, food insensitivity, nausea, and constipation.
These irregularities also affect the quality and pattern of sleep the same way. For instance, you will notice changes in bowel movements within days of irregular and insufficient sleep patterns and a stressful routine. Persistent sleep irregularities can lead to chronic gastrointestinal complications like hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and colorectal cancer.
In short, sleep deficiency can lead to a chain of dramatic complications in the digestive system. So, allow yourself sufficient rest for the healthy functioning of the digestive system.
Better Regulation Of Blood Glucose And Insulin
Sleep is a magic mechanism to achieve and improve insulin and glucose coordination and facilitate healthy metabolism in the body. For instance, sufficient sleep gives your body enough time to process food, produce glucose, and satiate cells with the needed supply.
Sleep deficiency elevates cortisol levels, causing apprehension, stress, and agitation. These overwhelming feelings trigger more sugar intake, even when your body already has enough blood glucose.
These irregularities can increase insulin insensitivity and resistance, and both mean cells have poor responsiveness to insulin. More hours in the wakefulness cycle also increase food intake and disturb the body’s natural mechanism for appetite regulation. In the long run, sleep deficiency and insulin insensitivity or resistance promote chances of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Improved Immunity And Resilience
Sleep affects how your body fights against pathogens and germs and how fast it recovers from health challenges. The immune system activates repair and detoxification processes when your body is at rest. Studies state that the liver carries out the cleaning and detoxification processes at midnight when you are asleep. And staying awake during this time hampers its functions. Better sleep also promotes immune cells’ memory to recognize pathogens.
The body produces enough cytokines during the sleep cycle. Cytokines like interferon and interleukin are proteins that fight against infectious agents and repair from inflammation. The immune system carries out these processes during a sleep cycle, as it tends to other functions during wakefulness.
The immune system does not function better after poor sleep and prolonged deficiency. Hence, a good night’s sleep every day is essential for the immune system functions and better resilience against pathogen attacks.
Better Mental Health
Sleep has a repairing and rehabilitative effect on mental health. Since the mind carries out countless processes and functions throughout the wakefulness cycle, it exhausts. Thus, sleep spares much-needed time for the brain to rest and recuperate. It allows the brain to untangle cobwebs of complex thoughts and reset for normal functions the next day. A relaxed mind can sort out, categorize, and manage stressful situations without experiencing fatigue.
In addition, sleep also promotes cerebrospinal fluid production and expands its flow channels. It helps the brain to remove waste products and toxins and reestablish neural network connections. Otherwise, continuous accumulation of toxins leads to deposits and plaque, increasing the likelihood of memory impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sleep is an inevitable part of overall being. It is not a choice you can trade off with other pending tasks and commitments. Even one day of sleep disturbances can trigger an enduring cycle of unhealthy changes in your body. Thus, it is essential to maintain quality sleep every day. Otherwise, mere sleep deficiency can lead to unmanageable and dreadful outcomes.