woman sleeping in a bed covered with the sheets

Importance of sleep for a healthy lifestyle

What is the importance of sleep for your health?

Lack of sleep or poor sleep damages your metabolism, it makes you crave more sugar and carbs, makes you eat more, it drives up your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even early death.

So getting enough sleep and sleeping well is essential to develop a healthy lifestyle, and it is actually an easy way to maintain your blood sugar balance and to lose weight.

Sleep plays such a vital role in your good health and well-being since you spend a third of your life asleep.

Study case

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The importance of sleep for weight loss

Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.

The importance of sleep well can be explained with some facts such as, sleeps helps you focus, boost your memory and gives you the energy to get through the day.

More rest for your brain means higher productivity, it can help balance your moods and help you deal with stress. Getting the right amount of sleep can also help with weight loss and avoiding sickness.

You want to stay healthy, then you should start making a good night’s sleep a priority.

So how about we take a holiday in the two hours right before we get into bed, creating a sleep ritual which is a set of things, a special set of things, that you do before you get into bed.

It’ll help your body get ready for sleep, it can guide your body into a deep and restful healing night’s sleep.

What’s good sleep hygiene?

Sleeping is one of the three key underpinnings to our physical health, along with healthy eating and exercising.

When it comes to sleep the number one important thing to do is try and get a good and regular sleep pattern. That means trying to go to bed at a similar time each night and trying to get up at a similar time each morning.

Develop a routine

So if you are able to establish a good routine, despite the weekend and holidays, it is going to be much easier for your body to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning which is translated into having a much better quality of sleep.

The next thing you should take into account is the kind of routine that you have in the hours leading to bedtime. You should plan relatively calm activities.

Don’t do heavy exercise before bed and avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks, also try not to be on the phone or any electronic device, or at least try and have it in the night mode screen at least 20 minutes before going to bed.

Do relaxing activities before going to bed

Reading a book is a good activity that you can even do in bed and will help you fall asleep easier. The next thing in line is, try to keep your bedroom to sleep. Meaning try to do other activities in a different room. This is because your mind will associate the room with sleeping and it would be easier to sleep when the time comes.

Sometimes it won’t be possible but whenever possible try and do it. If you work at home, work in a different room which might take the place of the office or maybe the living room. But keep the room to sleep.

If it gets to the point where you’ve spent a very long time in bed trying to sleep and you feel stressed about the fact that you can’t, you should get up and do something to calm down like to read a little bit or maybe go to drink some water, so your brain disassociate bed with wakefulness and then try again.

woman sleeping hugging a pillow

How important is having a deep sleep night?

Sleep is mainly controlled by our internal biological clock, which governs sleep as well as the activities of our organs.

The brain coordinates this process by sending various signaling molecules or hormones, including the body’s built-in sleeping pill melatonin.

When the body has gotten used to a rhythm, the release of the hormone is well adapted and sleep is under control but when the rhythm is disrupted it can cause sleep disorder.

Studies show that shallow sleep and chronic sleep loss increase the likelihood of many ailments, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, and obesity. It also decreases your ability to concentrate and can lead to accidents and even drain on our capacity for empathy.

What is a circadian disorder?

A lack of adequate amount of sleep at night can lead to circadian disorder and have a three 300% increased risk of calcification of the coronary arteries, according to the Brigham and women’s hospital.

When you don’t get the deep sleep you need, it inhibits our ability to learn, and for our cells and bodies to recover. Deep sleep is how you convert all the interactions that you make during the day into your long-term memory and personality.

What is the importance of sleep for your mental health?

Your sleep patterns can have a huge impact on our mental and emotional health, according to a study published by the Harvard Medical School.

Most experts say that it’s very important to have a consistent sleep schedule. Not sleeping enough is one of the factors for emotional distress, which means that everything could appear and feel much worse than it actually is.

Sleep helps you to think straight

You might suffer from confusion, memory lapses, memory loss, and false memories since poor sleep reduces brain activity in the thalamus and prefrontal cortex, which is the center of rational thinking and cognitive control.

Your mental performance and ability to focus could be severely hindered. Impaired judgment, lack of sleep also interferes with your ability to make decisions and interpret events.

Poor sleep is linked with neurodegeneration and other ailments. It encourages the spreading of toxic Alzheimer’s proteins.

How important is sleep well for exercising?

Some researchers believe that when sleep-deprived, people tend to have trouble metabolizing glucose, which is very important for energy. So not being able to break down glucose means your energy levels will plummet.

Also, sleep plays a crucial role in balancing hormones. When sleeping your body releases high amounts of anabolic hormones such as testosterone or IGF-1.

Testosterone is very important in building muscle, so when sleep is disrupted the release of these hormones will take much longer, which will affect the ability of the body to repair and build muscle during sleep time.

Sleep keeps cortisol levels down

A good night’s sleep will help you bring down the levels of muscle ‘breaking’ hormones, also known as catabolism. Cortisol will remain elevated whenever you don’t get a good night’s rest.

And since cortisol is the hormone responsible for storing fat you will end up not being able to either grow your muscles or lose weight.

What are the benefits of sleeping early?

Waking up early will increase your productivity tremendously. It will also allow you to tackle the tendency for your will power to be drained throughout the day.

A morning ritual allows you to perform the activities you need to put you on the right trajectory in life.

The psychological advantage you get from waking up in the morning can not be matched since in the morning you get time to think, and time to reflect on life.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea refers to interrupted breathing during sleep. Some of the symptoms are breath pauses, gasping, snoring and choking during sleep, and morning headaches.

When untreated apnea can result in high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression or any other medical problems.

What is the importance of R.E.M. sleep for your health?

One of the biggest misconception about sleep it has to do with the role of R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement).

Most people think that R.E.M. is your deepest cycle of sleep when REM is actually a very active brain process. There are areas of your brain that are more activated during sleep than during a wake period.

That’s where short-term memories are consolidated into long-term memories. R.E.M. also replenishes feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.

What are some benefits of sleeping on your back?

There are many benefits to sleeping on your back. When you are on your back a greater surface area of your body makes contact with the bed which spread out the forces and lessens the amount of pressure that’s put on your body.

Another benefit is that your spine would be in a straight position aligned with your neck.

Sleeping on your stomach puts under stress and strain your neck and lower back.

Side sleeping is good for keeping your airway open if you have sleep apnea or if you snore. It could be an issue for spinal alignment, though.

baby sleeping

How important is sleeping for children and kids?

Newborn babies need about 18 hours of sleep at night while kids between 3 to 5 years old approximately need from 10 to 12. Teenagers need about 9,5 hours of sleep at night.

Kids that don’t get enough sleep at night get to feel very sleepy during the daytime. They also tend to be hyperactive, irritable, cranky and have behavior problems.

Children with poor sleep are often misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because they have the same symptoms, including learning and memorizing problems and poor school performance.

Also, kids that don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more, which can cause obesity.

How important is sleeping during pregnancy?

One of the main reasons behind sleep problems during pregnancy is the increasing size of the fetus. Doctors usually recommend sleeping on your side for different reasons.

Once you hit the second trimester you need to avoid sleeping on your back because your uterus will put pressure on the vein that returns blood to your heart. That would restrict the amount of blood and nutrients that reach your placenta and baby.

Sleep gets more important as delivery gets closer

Sleeping on your right side is better than sleeping on your back but still not as good as sleeping on your left side. The reason is that sleeping on your right side could put pressure on your liver.

Sleeping on your left side will allow the baby to receive the right amount of nutrients and oxygen through the placenta.

What are the benefits of sleeping next to your loved one?

According to a University of Pittsburgh study, couples who share a bed at night are generally healthier than those who sleep alone.

Dr. Wendy M. Troxel, explains that sleeping with your partner comes with a host of psychological benefits, such as having better sleep and consequently, better health.

She also points out that a shared bed leads to the reduction of the levels of cortisol in your body.

What are the benefits of sleeping without a pillow?

Do you sleep with one, two or maybe with no pillow?

Here we are going to list a few reasons why is beneficial to sleep with no pillows at all.

To not use a pillow to sleep is one of the best medicines for preventing and treating back pain. Using a pillow that is too soft can strain your neck muscles and even decrease the blood flow to your head.

With or without a pillow?

Pressing your face onto the surface of a pillow will prevent it from being able to breathe. You are preventing the pores on the skin to have access to air, which can result in an oily face.

Sleeping without a pillow can also help you to prevent insomnia and difficulty sleeping at night time. Sleeping poorly on a pillow can ruin your posture and cause forward head posture.

Is it good to sleep on an empty stomach?

Going to bed stuffed can lead to heartburn, indigestion and even bad dreams but going to bed hungry is no fun either.

It’s best to have a small snack such as yogurt with fruit or apple with peanut butter, something around 200 to 300 calories.

This carb-protein combo it would trigger the brain to produce serotonin.

What are the benefits of sleeping in a cold room?

Our bodies are meant to cool down both before we go to sleep and as we are asleep.

Some researches show that there is a myriad of benefits from sleeping in a cold room, such as cure insomnia, curb weight loss and diabetes, help with stress and depression.

Cool it down

According to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes, sleeping with your bedroom window open when it is colder outside can help you attack belly fat. That’s because lower temperature makes your brown fat, the fat that keeps you warm and burns calories, get to work to keep you warmer.

woman sleeping naked

Are there benefits of sleeping without clothes?

Cooling down tells your body that it’s time to sleep, so sleeping naked and allowing your body temperature to go down, can actually help you fall asleep faster.

Your private parts, armpits, and feet are generally restricted all day and are often covered by multiple layers. Give those parts a chance to air out and breathe. This can lower the risk of skin diseases, like athlete’s foot, that result from wet, restricted skin.

Thinking about having babies?

Also, for men, testicles need to be at a certain temperature and if you wear tight underwear at night you can actually decrease sperm production.

For women, having a hot moist environment down there could lead to growing some bacteria or yeast.

What are the benefits of sleeping with a humidifier?

Humidifiers act as a natural moisturizing agent that can relieve the dryness from the air in your room.

Dry air is a major cause of irritation in many parts of your body and can hamper your sleep. Here are some benefits of sleeping with a humidifier.

It alleviates snoring, it helps you keep appropriate moisture levels for your skin, it helps keep your nasal passage moisten, it helps treating issues like sinusitis and it would help to keep allergies at bay.

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