Importance of sleep at night
You would have always heard that a good night’s sleep is key to good health. Well, it’s true! It’s an essential part of one’s life that allows one to recharge, relax and gain energy. It increases your alertness. Encourage the importance of sleep to your neighbors.
If you haven’t slept for a reasonable period or been sleep-deprived for days at a stretch, you lose alertness. Your brain stops functioning properly and with a clear mind because the body and mind are both tired.
You tend to forget things, affecting the memory while the concentration level also decreases. It can also put your safety at risk. The average sleep requirement of age groups differs. The average sleep an adult should get daily is 7-9 hours.
Factors that influence the importance of the sleep cycle
Our body works clockwise, with its body clock system. It’s a 24-hour cycle where the body gets tired after certain hours and feels refreshed during the remaining hours. This 24-hour cycle is known as the circadian rhythm.
This cycle is also affected by an organic compound that forms in our brains. It is called adenosine. This compound forms during the hours our body gets more tired due to external factors, and during sleep, the body breaks down this compound.
Lighting is a significant factor affecting one’s sleep cycle. There is a special region of nerve cells in our brain called the hypothalamus. In these nerve cells, there’s another cluster of cells present called the suprachiasmatic nucleus that is responsible for processing signals when the eyes are exposed to natural or artificial light.
It helps the brain to understand whether it is daytime or nighttime. When our brain gets the nighttime signal, the body releases melatonin. It is a hormone that releases drowsiness. Similarly, when the brain receives a signal of daytime, another hormone called cortisol promotes energy and alertness.
Our lifestyle is also essential to determine our sleep cycle. People who tend to follow wrong lifestyle practices like drinking excessive alcohol daily, having a stressful life, taking too much tension, having bad eating habits, and being over lethargic have problems sleeping properly and on time. In today’s time, over-exposure to blue light through our electronic gadgets like TV, mobiles, and laptops also causes sleep deprivation.
Disrupted sleep cycle
It’s also essential to give one’s body a continuous night’s sleep of 7-9 hours rather than sleeping in fragments. Some people have the habit of sleeping for a short interval of time in the day, and then they have a problem sleeping for a continuous period at night. They might sleep for an hour in the afternoon or sometime in the morning after waking up, disrupting their night’s sleep.
The environment you create while sleeping also plays a crucial role in your sleeping pattern. If you have loud music or noise around you, your bedding is not proper, or there are a lot of other disturbing factors, then sleep tends to get disturbed. It’s important to create a quiet environment with minimum disturbance, the right temperature, and comfortable bedding, so your sleep doesn’t get hampered.
Avoid large meals, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco anytime before sleep. Also, do some physical exercise as it can help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep.
How sleep affects the health
There are a lot of benefits in the importance of sleep to our physical and mental health. People who sleep well regularly tend to be more fit and healthy. Of course, you should follow a good lifestyle and the right eating habits to maintain a healthy you.
Strengthens heart health
It affects heart health significantly. Studies show that sleeping at least 7 hours a day causes fewer heart problems in humans and reduces the chances of high blood pressure problems. It’s important to note that excessive sleeping is also not healthy. It increases the chances of heart problems and high blood pressure.
Other health problems like diabetes and metabolism
Sleep disruption or less sleep is found to increase diabetes problems in people. It can cause insulin resistance, a condition when your body cannot use the hormone insulin properly. Also affects one’s body metabolism, behavior changes like irritability and passive attitude, increased inflammation, and hunger hormone changes.
It can cause obesity in people, hypertension, neurodegeneration, arrhythmias, dementia, and even loneliness.
If you have sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea or follow poor sleeping patterns, you will likely suffer depression and other mental health conditions.
Helps maintain weight
Short sleep cycles or sleeping disorders are associated with a high risk of obesity and excess weight gain. That’s because our body’s hunger hormones are disrupted. There is more production of ghrelin that makes us hungry and less production of leptin, a hormone that makes us feel full.
Moreover, the body lacks energy and motivation, due to which it tends to eat more to compensate for the lack of energy.
The body’s physical activity reduces because of a lack of energy or tiredness.
Productivity and mood swings
People who tend to sleep well have fewer mood swings or behavioral changes. Good sleep can lift your mood as you are well rested, and your mind is at peace. It also helps one think clearly with a positive mind frame. You don’t feel angry over little things. You can let go of stupid things and make a fresh start.
Similarly, when the mind is fresh and energized, you can do much more in the work field. Your cognitive skills improve, and you can concentrate a lot better after a good night’s sleep.
Prevents dangerous situations
Lack of sleep and tiredness is one of the primary causes of road accidents. That’s because the reaction time of the mind slows down when the brain isn’t fully rested. You need a well-rested brain to function properly, especially for an activity like driving, where full alertness is critical.