Importance of Sleep
While we understand the importance of a clean diet and regular exercise to remain healthy, we tend to undermine the need for a good rest at night. Many countries dismiss this imperative bodily concern that leads to a myriad of complications down the road.
While it varies from person to person, an average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep to perform at their optimum while children require 9-12 hours of sleep depending on their age bracket.
Factors Affecting Healthy Sleep
When we talk about sleep, we mean uninterrupted sleep, not obstructed by any external factors. Disturbed sleep does not meet bodily requirements and tends to wear us out more. Let’s look at some of the things that may be disrupting your sleep at night.
Since our body is accustomed to nature’s clock, bright light can trick our mind into thinking its morning, causing the body to delay sleep. Hence, it is advised you imitate nature’s settings to induce sound sleep.
Caffeine intake, especially before going to bed, can interfere with the quality of your sleep. It is not advisable to drink coffee after you have had your night’s meal.
Stress is an unavoidable factor in life that causes sleep impediments. It is advised you practice meditation and yoga in order to alleviate stress.
Some people prefer to sleep in peaceful conditions and may find it difficult to close their eyes with the person next to them snoring away. The person snoring may also experience sleep apnea and might undergo disrupted sleep by waking up due to intervals in breathing.
Importance of Sleep
It is important to get rid of the above factors to ensure you receive a good night’s rest. Sleep is crucial for the following reasons:
1. Proper Sleep results in Fewer Calorie Intake
Research suggests that the amount and quality of sleep we receive affects the hormones in our body that are responsible for appetite. As a result, obesity is also indirectly linked to sleep. Insufficient sleep also leads to lower energy expenditure that ultimately results in weight gain.
2. Sleep Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
One of the common causes of high blood pressure is sleep deprivation. Over time, disrupted sleep can reduce the body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, increasing blood pressure. It is believed that less than 6 hours of sleep is linked to high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is the precursor to heart disease, an adequate sleep mitigates the risk of heart disease.
Moreover, sleep detriments like sleep apnea and insomnia could increase risk factors for heart disease.
3. Sleep Reduces Signs of Depression
With increasing awareness of mental health, research now suggests that insomnia and disrupted sleep patterns could be linked to depression. Studies show a greater incidence of depression among people with insomnia.
In light of the medically proven reasons why you need to fulfill your body’s requirement of sleep, it is imperative to mitigate all and any factor that obstructs our sleep. To remain healthy both physically and mentally, it is advised you ensure your body receives a sound night’s sleep.