Sleep is one of the constants in life, yet we tend to underrate its benefits.
If you are skipping hours of sleep, you are doing more harm to your body and health. Not getting enough sleep is nothing to brag about.
In this post, you’ll learn about the most important benefits of sleep and why you need to get enough sleep.
Let’s dive in!
1. You’ll improve cardiovascular health
Insufficient sleep can lead to health risks including stroke, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.
When you’re not getting enough sleep, there is a disruption in the part of the brain’s circulatory system.
This tends to increase inflammation risks and ultimately make it easier for blood clots to flourish and develop.
When this trend is unchecked, it can result in serious cardiovascular problems including hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.
A study in the American College of Chest Physician’s official publication has linked prolonged sleep deprivation with hypertension.
2. You’ll maintain an ideal weight gain
Obesity is a national problem here in the US. And in other parts of the world, it continues to be a health threat.
Evidence suggests that a high correlation between sleep deficiency and weight gain.
Lack of sleep changes the levels of leptin and ghrelin in the body. Leptin and ghrelin are both important in controlling the feeling of hunger and fullness.
More specifically, leptin is the hormone that tells the body to stop eating. And ghrelin stimulates appetite.
When leptin levels are down and ghrelin levels skyrocket, there’s a high likelihood of eating too much. This, in turn, increases the risk factor for obesity.
But that’s not all. There are other ways sleep deficiency causes obesity too.
Insufficient sleep can make one too tired to work out and also activate the endocannabinoid system of the body, which increases the body’s appetite for junk foods.
3. You’ll improve your immune system
Your immune system is the body’s natural defense mechanism against germs, infections, and other foreign and harmful substances.
So when the body’s immunity is compromised, you easily fall sick.
But here’s exactly how sleep impacts the immune system.
When we sleep, the immune system naturally produces its antibodies. These antibodies help to fight the body’s foreign invaders
If you are not getting enough sleep consistently, this immune function is not regulated. This means that the body either takes longer to fight off infections or it doesn’t put up a fight at all.
In this pandemic and beyond, it’s ever more important to get more sleep so we can boost the natural immune system.
4. You’ll have a higher sex drive
Research has found that sleep-deprived folks tend to have lower libidos. This includes both men and women.
Sustained insufficient makes you disinterested in sex.
Part of the reason is that lack of sleep leaves you tired, irritable, and groggy. And these are not the characteristics you want in a sex partner.
5. You’ll avoid poor decision making
Insufficient sleep over a long period affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the part of the brain responsible for logical thinking.
Researchers at the University of Zurich looked into how enhanced risk‐seeking relates to sleep. They published their findings in the Annals of Neurology.
The study found that sleep-deprived people take more risks, like gambling, and also make decisions impulsively.
Worse, sleep deprivation also impacts moral judgment.
This is because the brain, without enough sleep, are more likely to make impaired emotional and cognitive-based decisions.
This increases the risk of such people making grave mistakes, especially when making life-changing decisions.
Our modern culture in some ways has glorified overworking and undersleeping. But as we’ve discussed, the benefits of sleep are enduring decades after decades.
Our ancestors and some communities even took naps in the middle of the day to stay refreshed and vitalized.
One of the best ways you can take care of your health is to make time to sleep. It’s not just about the quality of your sleep, but also the hours you sleep matter.