Staying Fit & Healthy

Top Reasons Why Getting a Good Night’s Sleep is Vital to Optimal Health

A good night’s rest may sometimes elude you or may not seem like something you need when you are “on a roll” with work or some other activity. However, there is a myriad of health benefits associated with a good night’s rest. Consequentially, there are some potentially devastating health effects associated with little or total lack of sleep.
Here are some highly ranked reasons why a good night’s sleep is incredibly important.

Increased/High Brain Power

Making a good night’s sleep a perpetual occurrence can significantly increase cognitive ability, improve your memory and even increase your concentration and by extension, your productivity. Research has shown that lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in the size and density of the brain. Brrrr! Now, why would you want that

Weight Loss

People who sleep more tend to eat fewer calories. In the long run, this could very well lead to weight loss. However, the reverse can also be the case. Poor sleeping habits have been widely associated with weight gain and obesity. In fact, short sleep duration is the most prominent cause of obesity in adults and children.

While short sleep duration suppresses leptin- the hormone responsible for suppressing appetite and increases the secretion of ghrelin- the hormone that stimulates appetite, getting enough sleep increases the secretion of leptin and inhibits that of ghrelin.

Decreased Chances of Heart Problems

Lack of sleep leads to the secretion of cortisol- “the stress hormone” which makes the heart work harder than it should. As the heart needs rest in order to keep functioning properly, this is definitely not a good thing.

The prolonged presence of the stress hormone leads to excessive workload for the heart without the chance of a reprieve. Several heart problems could arise as a result of this, but the good news is that it can be prevented by incorporating a good night’s sleep into your daily activities.

Immune System Boost

Do you ever wonder why doctors prioritize rest (sleep) for their patients to the extent that they sometimes induce it by administering several medications? It is because all the treatments in the world are rendered useless if the body isn’t allowed to (sleep) rest. That goes to show just how important it is to get enough sleep.

When the body gets enough sleep, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system also get the rest they need to fight off whatever comes their way.

Better Mood

Getting enough sleep doesn’t only improve your physical health, it also maintains and improves your mental and emotional well-being. Your mood affects your daily activities, the way you interact with other people, and the environment in general. A good mood makes your life a lot brighter and colorful.

Reduced Chances Of Diabetes

Lack of sleep has been observed to facilitate the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. Although research is still ongoing, not getting a good night’s sleep can affect the way the body breaks down glucose and not in a good way. Your tired cells have a hard time metabolizing the glucose in your body and with time, there is a build-up of glucose in your system. All this does is pave the way for type 2 diabetes.

Although the results are not completely definitive, it is certainly a good reason to opt for a good night’s rest.

Sleep as a Painkiller

Recovery from an injury or illness can be painful, however, sleep presents a welcome escape from the pain. Essentially, the more time you spend asleep, the less time you spend in pain.

Good Night’s Sleep May Prevent Cancer

Research has shown that people who work late night shifts have a higher chance of developing cancerous growth, particularly in the breast and colon. Prolonged exposure to light reduces melatonin- the hormone responsible for the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, the hormone itself is believed to protect the body from cancer because of its tendency to suppress tumor growth.

If you are at home and not working a late-night shift, it is better to keep your bedroom dark. This will help your body to produce the melatonin it needs to lull you to sleep.

The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be overstated because its impact resonates to every aspect of our lives.