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5 Things You Need to Know About Sleep


How confident are you when it comes to sleeping? Do you get enough sleep every night? Or perhaps you are always sluggish when morning comes because you had trouble sleeping? Are you suffering from insomnia and other sleep deprivation condition? What are the causes of it and how can you secure a good night’s sleep?

Sleeping is very vital and incomparably important to our overall health. People often neglect the necessity of it due to busy working schedules and lifestyle. But getting enough and good quality sleep provides numerous benefits – physically, mentally and emotionally. So if you wish to ensure your health and wellbeing which eventually leads you to a positive quality of life, you need to deeply understand the essential role of sleep.

 

Better Sleep means Better Health

Whenever we busied ourselves at work, drag our feet from one place to another and overly stressed our minds in thinking about the kids or other important matters, we all feel the same way – tiredness.  We get exhausted regardless of age and when that happens, we can simply recharge by sleeping. The only common problem is having enough time to sleep. It is recommended to have at least 7 to 8 hours of sleeping for us to be well-rested. In case you need to work overnight, then allot a specific time to take a power nap.

Not getting enough sleep can greatly affect brain functioning and our well-being in terms of physical performance as well as emotional condition. That is why, ensuring that you have good sleep means you have a great chance for securing good health. After all, sleep deprivation may cause detrimental conditions that can lead to a serious impact on your health.

Our bodies can fully relax when we sleep, giving us a vital opportunity to conserve energy, positively influence our blood pressure, breathing and even our body temperature for good metabolism. We can regulate the processes of our body system efficiently. Lack of sleep on a regular basis can cause morning headaches and lethargy. You are also prone to chronic health problems like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, heart disease and stroke. It is also detrimental on your immune system, affects your glucose metabolism which may lead to diabetes and associated to possible inflammation effects on your body.

It is best to keep watch on the number of hours you sleep. Check the following table which can serve as a guideline for recommended sleep depending on age variation.

Age

No. of Recommended Hours of Sleep

Infants aged 4–12 months

12–16 hours a day (including naps)

Children  (age of 1–2)

11–14 hours a day (including naps)

Children  (age of 3–5)

10–13 hours a day (including naps)

Children  (age of 6–13)

9–11 hours a day

Teens       (age of 14–18)

8–10 hours a day

Adults      (age of 18–64)

7–9 hours a day

Adults      (age of 65 and above)

7–8 hours a day

Source: National Sleep Foundation US

 

Did you know that when you actually lose sleep, the amount of sleep deprivation adds up? So when losing at least 2 hours of sleep for each night of this current week, you will have a sleep debt of around 14 hours – twice the number of hours you’ve missed out. This will develop a consequence you wouldn’t want to have which can take an absolute toll on your health.

 

Good Sleep means Smaller Chance of Weight Gain

Sleeping is actually associated with weight gain. As a matter of fact, people with short sleep tend to worry more about a significant chance of obesity. Why? It is due to the certain factors involved with sleeping. Inadequate sleep may result in less motivation to exercise to the point you want of wanting to sleep more instead of leaping out of bed in the morning.  It also proven by numerous health studies that sleep-deprivation disrupts your appetite hormones resulting in fluctuation in your diet. It also reduces your leptin level, the specific hormone responsible for suppressing your craving and appetite. That is why, you tend to have a bigger appetite which urges you to eat more heavy meals and it means more calories too – thus failing to control your weight gain.

 

Poor Sleep means Bigger Risk in Workout or Athletic Performance

How can you be active if you feel sluggish, tired and sleepy? There is no way you can run on a treadmill if you don’t have at least the energy to wake up because you lack sleep.  Let say you were able to go to the gym and tried to perform your usual routine, the percent of your speed, accuracy, and mental wellbeing is reduced to almost more than half the required 100% of alertness.  Your reaction time is greatly affected because less sleep duration is connected to the ability of your brain to function well; which by the way primarily pertains to your concentration skills as well. Therefore, your workout performance might be clumsy, slower movements, confused reflexes and lower grip strength – undoubtedly a difficult day for you which may even result in injury.

 

Sleep Improves Mental Health and Influences Your Personality

Good sleepers actually have a big chance of ensuring their overall wellness. Why? It is because sleep takes up a very essential role in various aspects when it comes to brain function. A person’s productivity is greatly affected if his brain doesn’t function well, and the main reason will be due to sleep deprivation. It may also negatively influence the process of cognition and concentration which are both key players in terms of the performance of our body resulting to the way of how we can handle our life’s daily challenges.

Poor sleep quality also linked to depression and detrimental sleeping disorders such as insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. You will also notice that there are times you feel less sociable and cranky. That is due to lack of sleep which also influences your emotions and the way you engage with our people. However, if you can monitor your time and be able to sleep enough in a regular basis, you can reap many benefits. You can enhance your memory performance, level-up your problem-solving skills, have a better social interaction and more importantly, avoid mental health issues.

 

Foods That Helps you Sleep Better

There are techniques that can help you improve your sleep. You can try relaxation techniques, breathing routines or some de-stressing habits like journaling stressful thoughts so you can free your mind to be able to sleep well. However, did you know that there are specific foods that can help you to sleep better? If you want to have a good quality sleep that will guarantee you a bright and refreshed morning the next day, check out this list!

  • Walnuts and Almonds
  • Milk, Chamomile Tea or Passionfruit Tea
  • Turkey
  • Elk
  • Chickpeas
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Oatmeal and Cereals
  • White Rice
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and trout.
  • Shrimp and Lobster
  • Banana and Kiwi
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Tart Cherry Juice
  • Pretzels
  • Honey

 

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