Despite the diverse associations with lack of sleep, from hard worker to party animal, sleep is important and without adequate sleep, your body suffers. Even if you’re laying in bed for the appropriate time allotted for a good night’s sleep, it doesn’t mean you’re getting quality sleep, either. Improving your health by improving your sleep pattern can make a huge difference in your life.
There’s no one right amount for everyone.
One study showed that just adding an hour and a half can make a difference. One group of women in the study slept for as little as six and a half hours, while the other group slept less than five. Those who slept longer, lived longer, even if it wasn’t as much sleep as their body really needed. Getting more and better quality sleep is important to controlling blood pressure, lowering inflammation and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Lack of sleep can cause stress and make you gain weight.
If you’ve ever tried to function after getting too little sleep, you probably noticed you’re not your best self and maybe even a little stressed and cranky. That causes cortisol to be produced and cortisol is linked to belly fat. Lack of sleep also affects other hormones. It causes you to produce more ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry, and less leptin, the one that tells your brain that you’re full. You’ll eat more and sticking to a healthy diet is more difficult. If you don’t get enough sleep, when you lose weight, you tend to lose more muscle mass. People who get adequate sleep lose more fat.
Make your workout count by getting the right amount of sleep.
Coaches always tell their players to get rest the night before a big game and there’s a reason. Adequate sleep can improve athletic performance. Whether you’re working out to be healthier or participating in sports, it’s important. Not only does adequate sleep improve athletic endeavors, it also boosts creativity. During sleep, your brain organizes and organizes the events of the day, so it also helps improve attention levels and grades.
- Quality of your sleep is important. You need deep sleep to detox your brain. That helps prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions. It’s when the brain repairs.
- You can improve your sleep by avoiding alcohol at night and eating late at night, particularly if you overeat. You’ll also get better sleep if you avoid too many blankets and keep your bedroom cooler.
- Don’t use electronics, like a TV, laptop or cellphone, in the bedroom. Keep your bedroom completely dark for the best possible sleep.
- Create a schedule for sleep. Make a ritual that starts an hour before bedtime and do everything the same way every night at the same time. It gets your body adjusted and ready for sleep. Arise at the same time each morning, even on weekends, and stick with the schedule.
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