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Are you getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night? If so, your body will surely thank you.
Most people know that getting a good night’s sleep is important for overall health, but few realize the extent of healthy sleep habits. Health professionals recommend that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and there are good reasons for this. Getting enough sleep helps to improve mood, alertness, and reaction time. It also helps to boost immunity, lower stress levels, and promote heart health.
In addition, research has shown that getting enough sleep can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. So next time you’re tired, think twice before reaching for another cup of coffee – your body will thank you for it in the long run.
Benefits of healthy sleeping habits can improve your life
1. Healthy sleep habits reduce stress levels
Sleeping helps to lower blood pressure and pulse rate. When we sleep, our body produces more serotonin than when we are awake. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has mood-elevating properties.
2. Adequate sleep promotes longevity
Sleeping well promotes better health and reduces the risk of getting chronic conditions like heart diseases and diabetes (Nagai et al., 2010).
3. Healthy sleep habits promote healthy weight
Having a regular sleep routine helps to maintain a healthy weight as it reduces the likelihood of snacking in between meals. Sleeping enough also reduces cravings for unhealthy foods and beverages which have high calories content.
Actually, the lack of sleep can lead to weight gain because it can increase your appetite while slowing down your activity level.
In fact, people who don’t get enough sleep tend to have slower metabolisms than those who do.
4. Adequate sleep decreases ability to focus
Sleep is essential for keeping one’s mood stable by regulating hormones responsible for stress, anxiety, and depression.
These hormones interfere with the normal functioning of the brain and reduce focus and concentration which can result in lethargy.
5. Healthy sleep habits improve athletic performance
Sleep is necessary for the brain and muscles to restore themselves after a strenuous workout. Inadequate sleep may lead to musculoskeletal injuries during sports practice.
6. Adequate sleep boosts immunity
Sleeping well aids in maintaining the body’s natural immune system thus helping to fight against diseases.
7. Healthy sleep habits reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes
Unfortunately, the lack of sleep is linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Studies have shown that people who get between six and eight hours of sleep at night are at a much lower risk for developing these diseases (Nagai et al., 2010).
8. Adequate sleep lowers the risk of accidents
Getting enough sleep makes you less likely to have an accident while driving or operating heavy machinery because your mental and physical functions are restored.
“The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.” – Wilson Mizener
9. Healthy sleep habits improve mental health
Sleeping is linked with the function of various neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate mood, appetite, and emotions which may help improve your mental health.
10. Adequate sleep leads to improvement in appearance
Lack of sleep often leads to bags under one’s eyes which can make a person look older or tired all the time.
Additionally, improving your sleep habits will decrease the possibility of having wrinkled skin and age spots because lack of sleep impairs collagen production and skin circulation and repair (Sundelin et al., 2017).
11. Adequate sleep results in stronger muscles
People who don’t sleep well may experience muscle weakness and worsening of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
As such, it’s more difficult to lift heavy objects without feeling pain or experiencing injury.
12. Healthy sleep habits improve interpersonal relationships
When you’re running on empty, it becomes difficult to connect with other people. Sleep deprivation can make you feel irritable and impatient with those around you.
It also makes it harder for you to communicate effectively as well as empathize with others.
13. Adequate sleep causes higher levels of creativity
Sleeping helps the brain sort through and make sense of all the information it gathered throughout the day.
As such, when you’re deprived of sleep, it becomes more difficult to think clearly. Sleep deprivation can also affect a person’s ability to have creative ideas and be innovative.
14. Healthy sleep habits reduce pain symptoms
When you have a high level of sleepiness, it becomes difficult to handle pain. Likewise, sleeping can help reduce the intensity of your pain symptoms.
Research shows that this is due to both psychological and physiological aspects that influence the emotional experience and attention to pain (Whibley et al., 2019).
15. Adequate sleep improves memory and cognitive activity
According to research, sleep helps with learning, memory and overall cognitive ability because it leads to an increase in brain activity that boosts understanding.
As per research, the consolidation of memory occurs during sleep which is crucial for long term memory formation (Rasch & Born, 2013).
16. Healthy sleep habits may decrease cholesterol levels
Research shows that lack of sleep, especially fragmented sleep, is associated with higher total cholesterol levels.
It should also be noted that it has been shown that sleep duration that is too long is also associated with higher cholesterol levels (van den Berg et al., 2008).
17. Adequate sleep increases blood circulation
People who don’t get enough sleep often experience poor blood flow throughout their body, which can cause serious health concerns such are stroke and heart attack in the future.
Research shows that lack of sleep causes fatty deposits to build up in the arteries as well as causing changes in the micro RNA in the blood (Hijmans et al., 2019).
18. Healthy sleep habits improve reaction time for driving safety
Sleep deprivation can lead to slower reaction time and decrease your ability to focus while driving.
Research shows that 19% of participants feel asleep while driving and 10% had a motor vehicular accident / near miss in the last year. Notably, increased risk was recorded among males, married persons and those with poor sleep quality (AlShareef, 2021).
19. Adequate sleep causes faster cell regeneration
Sleep plays a vital role in cellular turnover, that is, helping your body replace dead cells with new ones.
20. Healthy sleep habits may increase bone mineral density
A lack of sleep leads to lower bone mineral density, which can result in an increased risk for developing osteoporosis.
Research shows that women who reported sleeping 5 hours or less had significantly lower bone mineral density in their whole body, hip, spine and neck when compared to those who slept for 7 hours nightly. Actually, this difference is equivalent to one year of aging (Hill, 2019).
“I don’t know why it should be, I am sure; but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me.” – Jerome K. Jerome
21. Adequate sleep decreases cancer risk
Although more research is needed, some studies have shown that sleep quality, duration and disorder may affect cancer risk.
In fact, not only has research shown an increased likelihood of death from all causes due to sleep deprivation but also increased cancer risk (Suni, 2022).
22. Healthy sleep habits boost sexual function
Being well-rested means that your body will function better in every way. This includes in bed, where you’ll likely have more energy and desire to be intimate with your partner.
A study of 3,433 women with a mean age of 53 showed that women with poor sleep were almost 1.5 times more likely to report female sexual dysfunction. In fact, over 63% of women who slept less than 5 hours nightly reported sexual dysfunction.
Notably, sexually active women were more likely to report good quality sleep (Kling et al., 2021).
23. Adequate sleep improves fertility
Studies show that women who sleep less than six hours a night have lower fertility rates than women who get seven to nine hours nightly.
Scholars believe this is due to the body’s hormonal levels that trigger ovulation, sperm maturation, regulating menstruation, which helps control fertility levels in women.
Research has also shown that lack of sleep causes the body to produce less testosterone. In fact, women who sleep less than 7 hours nightly were shown to have 15% lower chance of getting pregnant.
It’s also important to note that sleeping 9 hours or more was shown to lead to a 25% lower possibility of pregnancy for women who underwent IVF (Kloss et al., 2016).
24. Healthy sleep habits reduce the risk of dementia
Sleep helps the brain form new pathways that are important for learning, memory, and thinking. It also helps your brain consolidate existing memories.
As such, it’s no surprise that slept less than 6 hours per night in their 50s and 60s hade a higher likelihood of developing dementia (Bryant, 2021).
25. Adequate sleep lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease
Research shows that people who consistently have short sleep duration and sleep quality have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (Lysen et al., 2019).
26. Healthy sleep habits decrease inflammation
Sleep helps your body produce proteins that help regulate immune responses throughout the body.
Therefore, not getting enough sleep regularly can significantly affect your body’s ability to fight off illness.
27. Adequate sleep increases growth hormone production for healthy aging
Getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep increases the secretion of growth hormone in your body, which is important for keeping your organs healthy and functional as you age.
As such, long term sleep deprivation in young persons may actually stunt growth (Gavin, 2021).
28. Healthy sleep habits lower the risk of falls and fractures
Getting enough sleep is important for good brain function, which is key to maintaining your balance and preventing accidents and falls.
29. Adequate sleep improves digestive function
According to research, persons who have regular sleep disturbances are much likely to report gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
This is because chronic lack of sleep increases gut sensitivity (Jarrett et al., 2008).
30. Healthy sleep habits result in stronger lungs
Those who don’t get enough sleep often show higher rates of chronic respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. In fact, lack of sleep directly affects lung function.
31. Adequate sleep reduces premenstrual syndrome symptoms
This is likely due to the fact that sleep helps regulate your body’s levels of female hormones, which can influence PMS symptoms.
What are the main causes of sleep deprivation?
There are many different factors that can lead to sleep deprivation, including genetics, health conditions, lifestyle choices, and external stressors.
Perhaps the most common cause of sleep deprivation is poor or disrupted sleep habits. Sleep patterns can often be disrupted by excessive time spent in front of screens before bedtime, caffeinated beverages consumed in the later hours of the day, or an irregular sleeping schedule.
Additionally, certain medical conditions such as depression or anxiety can also interfere with normal sleep cycles.
Furthermore, lifestyle behaviors like smoking and excessive alcohol use have both been shown to increase the risk of chronic sleep problems.
Ultimately, it is important to be aware of these common causes of sleep deprivation in order to take steps to improve one’s quality and quantity of sleep.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama
How can I improve my sleeping habits?
To improve your sleeping habits, there are a number of things that you can do. One key factor to consider is the timing of your sleep cycle.
By sticking to a regular schedule and going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, you can sync your circadian rhythms so that they more naturally align with your body’s natural sleep cycles.
Additionally, you can focus on creating a relaxing sleeping environment by minimizing distractions such as electronics and bright lights.
Finally, it can be helpful to engage in activities that promote feelings of calm and relaxation, such as journaling or practicing deep breathing exercises before bed.
With these steps in place, you will be well on your way to optimizing your sleep and getting the rest that you need.
If getting enough sleep is important, what’s all the talk about waking up early?
The benefits of waking up early are well-documented. From increased productivity to improved mental clarity, there are many reasons why people choose to start their day before the sun comes up.
However, there is also a lot of research that indicates that getting enough sleep is just as important as waking up early. As you’ve seen, inadequate sleep has been linked to a whole host of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and depression.
So, while waking up early may have some benefits, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough rest. Otherwise, you might be sacrificing your health in the name of productivity.
Final words on the benefits of healthy sleep habits
If you want to be healthier, sleeping is one of the most important habits. Laying in bed for 8 hours might not seem like much, but many benefits come with getting enough sleep regularly.
The importance of sleep is something we all know, but it’s not always easy to make the time. However, if you want to feel more energized and productive throughout your day (and life), then getting a good night’s rest should be one of the top priorities on your agenda.
If this sounds like you, or someone you care about – share with us what changes have been most effective in helping them get healthy sleeping habits?
What’s stopping me from sleeping well?
How well do you sleep? Are you one of the lucky ones that can fall asleep within minutes of hitting the pillow?
Or, do you spend hours tossing and turning before finally drifting off to dreamland? Insomnia is a common problem, with an estimated 1 in 3 people struggling to get enough sleep.
So what’s stopping us from getting the best night’s sleep possible? Here are the most common factors that can keep us up at night. Read more
Should I stop using an alarm clock?
Should I stop using an alarm clock? This is a question that many people ask themselves. There are several pros and cons to using an alarm clock.
On the one hand, alarm clocks can help to ensure that you wake up on time and start your day as planned. On the other hand, alarm clocks can be disruptive to your natural sleep cycle and cause you to feel groggy and tired.
If you are considering stopping use of your alarm clock, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider whether you tend to oversleep or wake up before your alarm. Second, think about how well you sleep at night and whether you generally feel rested in the morning.
Lastly, consider your daily schedule and whether you would benefit from waking up earlier or later. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use an alarm clock is a personal one.
However, if you find that your alarm clock is causing more harm than good, it may be time to reconsider its place in your daily routine. Read more
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Gavin, M. (2021) Can lack of sleep stunt your growth
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