The importance of sleep

We all know that we should be getting 8 hours of sleep per night, but when I was younger I relished in the idea that as I was getting older I was able to stay up a little bit later at night – but now I cherish every moment I get!

I go to bed at ridiculous hours for no reason at all, set my alarm for 6AM (aiming to physically get up by 7AM) and probably get an average of 6 hours sleep; i’m guessing that i’m not getting enough sleep. During the week I am at a constant fight with myself at night between talking to people for a couple more hours on Facebook or to get my ass to bed – my social life has proven to be the winner.

One night the other week I went to bed the earliest I had in years because I was so exhausted: 9PM! Honestly, I could say it was one to the best sleeps of my life – even though I woke at 3AM (I guess because my body clock expects me to get up 5hours after I fall to sleep)… I didn’t mind waking up that early anyway because I love the feeling of knowing that I have several more hours of sleep left!

So in an effort for me to hit the sack earlier I looked up the benefits of sleep and how it is bodylicious:

Sleep helps to repair your body.
Your body produces extra protein molecules while you’re sleeping that helps strengthen your ability to fight infection and stay healthy. These molecules help your immune system mend your body at a cellular level when you are stressed or have been exposed to compromising elements such as pollutants and infectious bacteria.

Sleep helps keep your heart healthy.
Your cardiovascular system is constantly under pressure and sleep helps to reduce the levels of stress and inflammation in your body. High levels of “inflammatory markers” are linked to heart disease and strokes. Sleep can also help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels (which play a role in heart disease) in check.

Sleep reduces stress.
A good night’s sleep can help lower blood pressure and elevated levels of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s fast paced lifestyle. High blood pressure can be life threatening and the physical effects of stress can produce “‘wear and tear” on your body and degenerate cells, which propel the aging process. Sleep helps to slow these effects and encourages a state of relaxation.

Sleep improves your memory.
That ‘foggy’ feeling that you struggle with when deprived of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate. This often leads to memory problems with facts, faces, lessons, or even conversations. Sleeping well eliminates these difficulties because, as you sleep, your brain is busy organizing and correlating memories.
One of the great benefits of sleep is that it allows your brain to better process new experiences and knowledge, increasing your understanding and retention. So, next time you hear someone say “why don’t you sleep on it,” take their advice.

Sleep helps control body weight issues.
Sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. Studies have shown that when your body is deprived of sleep, the normal hormone balances are interrupted and your appetite increases. Unfortunately this increase in appetite doesn’t lead to a craving for fruits and veggies. Rather, your body longs for foods high in calories, fats, and carbohydrates.
So, if you’re trying to lose those stubborn few pounds that just keep hanging around, consider the benefits of sleep on weight control and make sure that getting enough sleep each day.

Sleep reduces your chances of diabetes
Researchers have shown that lack of sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose, which is the carbohydrate your cells use for fuel.
The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reports that a study showed a healthy group of people who had reduced their sleep from eight to four hours per night processed glucose more slowly. Other research initiatives have revealed that adults who usually sleep less than five hours per night have a greatly increased risk of developing diabetes.

Sleep reduces the occurrence of mood disorders.
With insufficient sleep during the night, many people become agitated or moody the following day. Yet, when limited sleep becomes a chronic issue, studies have shown it can lead to long-term mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.

The benefits of sleep are extensive and can make a difference in your quality of life, as well as the length of your life. Therefore, it is vital to place a priority on getting ample, consistent sleep.

After this week is over (have so many assignments due at uni) I will be getting heaps more shut-eye, it’s too important to miss and is definitely bodylicious!


About thisisthestrip

20 - Sydney - Student
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