The Benefits of Sleep
There is no doubt that sleep benefits us significantly. Even though we are yet to understand the full potential of sleeping, we are definitely aware of what can happen if we don't get our fair share of sleep. Scientists and doctors have studied sleep and its effects on the body for years and as a result of these experiments and studies, they have discovered how it affects our body. The studies and observations have shown that there are positive effects of sleeping.
Sleeping for about 7 to 9 hours a day can lower blood pressure and even cholesterol levels. These problems are also associated with cardiovascular ailments and cerebrovascular accidents. So basically, getting a good night's rest can protect you from a heart attack or stroke.
A lack of sleep can lead to stress. This is caused when our bodies react to stress by producing stress hormones that puts our body on high alert. This high alert status results in lack of sleep, ultimately resulting in a vicious cycle of insomnia and stress. This can further lead to severe medical conditions such as strokes or heart ailments. The only way to break the cycle is to get proper sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep can also extend a person's life span. In a 2010 study conducted on women between the ages of 50 to 79, it was observed that the ones who got more sleep lived longer than the ones who did not. This shows us that sleep has a direct impact on our quality of life.
Sleeping disorders can lead to an increased production in stress inducing hormones which results in chronic inflammation issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis, and atherosclerosis. Lack of sleep has also been associated with serious ailments such as cancer and diabetes. Getting enough sleep can help reduce the chances of these ailments.
Sleep also regulates the level of serotonin produced in our body. Serotonin is a mood elevating hormone, which in right amounts can result in a feeling of happiness and positivity. Not sleeping enough can result in low serotonin production, which can lead to psychological problems such as depression.
When we sleep, our brain performs a unique function known as memory consolidation. Basically, this means that our brain begins processing information and establishing connections between our memories, the events of the day, emotions, and experiences. This function is known to improve our ability to remember things.
According to research, there is a direct correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity. This is because individuals who do not sleep enough experience fatigue, which they try to fix by compensating with food for energy. This leads to an unnecessary intake of food ultimately resulting in obesity and other medical problems.
Getting proper sleep regulates the production of hormones referred to as leptin and ghrelin. These hormones control our appetite. Ghrelin tells us when to eat and leptin tells us when to stop eating. A lack of sleep can cause improper functioning of these hormones which eventually leads to obesity. So, sleeping properly can help you stay in shape and prevent future weight problems.