History is full of old wive’s tales about sleep. It is only recently that this mysterious phenomenon has been studied by science. Do you get less than the standard seven hours a night?
That may make you liable to catch many maladies. So, isn’t it better to go to bed on time and get your share of Z’s? After all, it is you alone who reaps the rewards of this arrangement.
Here are 10 rational points in favor of getting seven hours of solid sleep per night. Believe me, your body and mind will thank you for the forty winks.
1. Sleep keeps your Ticker in Tip Top Condition:
Most instances of cardiac arrest and fatal strokes occur in the AM time zone. This has everything to do with your sleep cycles. How is that?
Well, if you are bleary-eyed, your blood pressure will shoot up. Also, your cholesterol levels will get messed up. These are signs of cardiovascular disease which is bad news.
So, remember to sleep tight to reap heart health benefits.
2. Sleep prevents Cancerous Tumors:
Does staying up all night long feel good? Teenagers may get away with it. Yet older individuals compromise their health pulling off an all-nighter.
Those who work the graveyard shift more often end up contracting cancer.
The lowering of a hormone, melatonin, scrambles the sleep signals in the brain. Also, lower melatonin levels mean less shielding from carcinogens in the environment. How does one ensure there are adequate melatonin levels in the body?
Keep the bedroom pitch dark at night and switch off your mobile phone and television LED light.
3. Sleep keeps Obesity at Bay:
Is there no place you can rest your weary head? Your waistline may pay the price big time. Those who got inadequate sleep were more prone to piling on the pounds.
Those who exercise and watch their diet tend to doze off to sleep on time. Skimping on sleep may cause even fit people to become demotivated.
4. Sleep increases Alertness and Focus:
The brain thrives on refreshing and rejuvenating sleep. To go to bed tired and wake up ready to face the world with vim and vigor is everything. Factors such as concentration and performance will vary based on sleep levels.
If you defer sleep, you will have a fuzzy brain. You will feel like a zombie. Dazed and confused is the state you will be in. So stay in bed fast asleep the whole night to improve cognition and productivity.
5. Sleep prevents Type 2 Diabetes:
The world is in the grips of a “diabesity” epidemic. This is a portmanteau word made by combining the two words diabetes and obesity. Of the two, obesity has been mentioned earlier in this post.
As for diabetes, it has everything to do with insulin sensitivity and the state of your pancreas. If you get less than six or seven hours of sleep per night, you will start getting prediabetic symptoms. Your blood glucose levels will go haywire.
6. Sleep wards off the Blues:
Depression is America’s #1 problem besides obesity. The two are in fact two sides of the same coin. Depression causes obesity and obesity may also cause depression.
A bad case of the blues can do a number on your motivation. What are the symptoms of depression? Well, for starters, you will never want to get out of bed. Feeling sad and suicidal are other extreme effects. How to escape such a dismal condition? There is no problem that sleep cannot cure.
7. Sleep keeps the Immune System functioning at Full Tilt:
A few days of broken sleep may lead to serious issues. Want to know what they are? You may catch a cold or an ear, nose, and throat infection.
That is because the immune system has become damaged due to loss of sleep. Our advice to those who cannot catch their Z’s is to try to nap away the sleep debt. Also eating garlic with meals will help keep colds and flu at arm’s length.
8. Sleep repels Physical and Mental Inflammation:
Inflammation is a marker of many diseases. These include obesity, Alzheimer's, Crohn’s Disease and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). They are bad news for the body and mind. An inflamed person is a diseased and unhappy individual. So, never ignore your sleep signals and visit the Land of Nod for a healthier life.
9. Sleep is a Source of Stress Relief:
Stress is the “numero uno” cause of a host of diseases. What are these? Coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, obesity, hypertension, and insomnia.
They are caused by high-stress levels.
Stress is of two types: eustress and distress. While eustress is good, distress is bad. Remember, stress depends on your response to environmental stimuli.
You alone are in control. You always have a choice. So rule #1 is: Don’t sweat the small stuff. As for Rule #2, it is: It’s all small stuff! So don’t let the little annoyances in life get you down.
10. Sleep allows your Memory Bank to remain Intact:
Researchers have studied sleep and dreams. Their research efforts have proved fruitful. Dreaming may be the mind’s way of keeping your memories alive and well.
When you enter deep sleep, your mind cleans out the accumulated cognitive garbage.
Quality sleep ensures that cognitive connections and links are made and maintained. The brain processes its inputs better once you have had a restful night’s sleep.
So those were the big ten plus points of getting between the beds at night and going off to sleep. Sleep well and you will keep all sorts of diseases at bay. Also, sleep requires no work on your part other than rest and relaxation. So snore away and wake up to a brand new day.
Featured Image: Kasper Rasmussen via Unsplash
Photo n.2: Kinga Cichewicz via Unsplash