Various factors contribute to our overall mental and physical health, and this includes sleep. We need to find ways to keep our diets healthy and balanced to provide all the essential nutrients we need to thrive.
Additionally, we also need to get enough physical exercise to keep our bodies in top condition.
These two aspects of health are well understood. However, there is a third, equally vital consideration when assessing our overall health; quality sleep. When we don’t get enough rest, we are more likely to become ill, experience worse physical performances and show symptoms of mental illness.
The quantity and quality of your sleep can have significant knock-on effects on many aspects of your overall health. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that sleeping properly could make you happier and healthier.
Adequate sleep is a vital factor in your overall physical and mental health. In fact, some professionals even go as far as to say that it’s just as important as regular exercise or a balanced diet.
This means that, if you’re one of the millions spending their nights staring at the ceiling, tossing and turning, or counting sheep in vain, then a change needs to be made.
1. It can keep you healthier
Research has uncovered a clear association between poor sleep and weight gain. On average, people who do not sleep enough or have poor quality or interrupted rest weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep.
Many people are unaware that one of the most significant risk factors for becoming obese is getting too little sleep. It has been reported that children and adults that do not get enough sleep are 89% and 55% more at risk of becoming obese, respectively.
The science behind this is not fully understood, but it is thought that hormonal balance and motivation to exercise can both be impacted by a poor sleep cycle.
It may also be the case that weight gain is associated with poor sleepers consuming more calories than average. Studies have demonstrated that individuals who do not get enough sleep often have larger appetites and, as such, eat more calories than people that get adequate rest.
It has been suggested that sleep deprivation could lead to higher levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite.
While more research is to be done, a growing body of evidence suggests that inadequate sleep could contribute to weight gain. Therefore, if you are looking to lose weight and improve your overall health, taking a look at your sleep schedule could be advantageous.
2. You can be more productive
We’ve all experienced feeling sluggish and distracted after a poor night’s sleep. Now, research is coming out to support the notion that sleep is vital for proper brain function. Various aspects of our mental sharpness are negatively impacted when we are sleep deprived. For example, cognition, focus, performance and productivity may all take a hit when someone is routinely not getting enough quality rest.
Various studies support these claims, and in certain cases, it has been suggested that sleep deprivation could have a similar effect to alcohol intoxication. As such, if you want to improve your overall cognitive function and generally feel happier, restful sleep might be the answer.
If you are concerned that your productivity and performance are not improving despite sleeping for long enough and regularly enough, it might help to look at your mattress. The right mattress has been shown to enhance the quality of peoples’ sleep, so switching this could make all the difference to your rest. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, check out Sealy mattresses and beds for high-quality solutions.
3. It can improve athletic performance
Time and time again, sleep has been shown to impact individuals’ athletic performances. For example, a study investigating the impact of sleep on the athletic performance of basketball players suggested that proper rest can significantly boost speed, accuracy and reaction times.
On top of this, any athlete will tell you that strong sporting performances rely heavily on mental wellbeing and resilience. The association between sleep and mental wellbeing means that athletes can generally perform to a higher standard on a mental level when they get enough rest.
4. It can boost your immune system
Even a seemingly insignificant loss of sleep may have a tangible effect on immune function. In a study where researchers administered the common cold to participants and monitored their response to this over two weeks, they found an interesting link between sleep and immune function.
It was found that individuals who got less than seven hours of rest each night were more likely to display cold symptoms than those who were sleeping for eight hours or more. If you regularly struggle with colds and other illnesses, you could help your body and immune system fight off pathogens by getting more quality sleep.
5. It can improve your relationships
Sleep-deprived individuals regularly complain about their ability to interact socially and maintain healthy relationships. Several studies have demonstrated that people running on too little sleep are generally worse at recognising facial expressions associated with anger or happiness than well-rested individuals.
It has also been suggested that we might be worse at distinguishing other social cues when we are sleep deprived. Additionally, inadequate sleep could also reduce our ability to process emotional information.
Overall, these factors mean that our ability to interact socially and maintain healthy, positive relationships could be impaired by a lack of sleep.
Also, there is a link between sleep and mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Depression is especially associated with poor sleep quality or sleep disorders. Around 90% of people affected by depression complain that their sleep is not good enough.
Mental health problems can often contribute to feeling isolated and separate from other people. As such, not getting enough quality rest could lead to problems with social interactions associated with mental illnesses.
In summary, our sleeping patterns and the quality of rest we get can significantly impact other aspects of our lives. Nutrition, activity and sleep all have similar knock-on effects on our overall health and happiness. Therefore, you mustn’t neglect your sleeping habits if you are trying to take positive steps to improve your overall wellbeing and outlook.
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
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Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner.
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