gtag('config', 'UA-166310919-1'); What Good Quality Sleep Does to Your Body

What Good Quality Sleep Does to Your Body

Check out the benefits of quality sleep to your body.


While some people get into the regular workout and breathing routines, many neglect the third factor that completes the trifecta: good quality sleep.


Your Body Needs 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep

More than 15 years ago, studies told us that getting 6 hours of sleep daily is enough. However, in the last decade, many studies have shown that for people to function well and maintain good health, they need to have 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day, with 8 hours giving the most health benefit. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that Americans spend only an average of 6.5 hours of sleep a day[1]. This is no surprise, considering the distractions that surround us: TV, the Internet, social media, and others. We always seem to be doing something.

In our busyness, the first thing that usually gets sacrificed is the time we spend for sleep. To cram as many activities as we can during the day, we cut back on our sleeping hours. Some people think that sleep is a luxury they can’t afford, and they conveniently sacrifice their sleeping hours to do more things, believing that losing a few hours of sleep is nothing compared to what they are able to accomplish because of it. Unfortunately, if you think this way, you overlook the negative long-term consequences of inadequate sleep on your health and total well being.

If you are serious about losing weight and staying healthy, you must keep in mind that not getting the right amount of sleep affects your health negatively, and the consequences can worsen over time. For you to understand this better, you have to know what good quality sleep actually does to your body.

Adequate Sleep Improves Your Mind’s Performance

Sleeping undisturbed for 7 to 8 hours every day will give you an alert mind[2]. It allows your mind to maintain focus for prolonged periods of time. In other words, you are able to concentrate more at work, such as during long meetings, when you are writing important reports, or when you are reading for a prolonged period of time. People with 7 to 8 hours of sleep can sit down and concentrate longer than those who are sleep deprived.

On the other hand, those who sleep for less than 7 hours a day have difficulty focusing and analyzing things, and over time, the effect worsens. Memory weakens and judgment becomes impaired. Some studies have shown that those who suffer from lack of sleep can’t even tell that the performance of their mind has deteriorated even though the results of their tests indicate that it has; they claim that they are still the same.

Adequate Sleep Helps Your Body to Recover

Good quality sleep also helps your body to recover from your workout. When the body is asleep, it turns into an anabolic state, or the state in which it conserves energy, and the growth and repair of muscles take place[3]. Allowing the body to recover from your workout is very important. When you train, your muscle tissues suffer from small damages. If your body has not recovered well and you continue to train, you push it into a strenuous condition. Your performance and your health will deteriorate instead of improve. Working out when you are sleep deprived is disastrous to your health. Get the proper amount of sleep and let your body heal and repair itself.

Adequate Sleep Strengthens Your Immune System

Having good quality sleep for 7 to 8 hours a day strengthens your immune system and makes your body more resistant to sickness and disease. Poor sleep, on the other hand, weakens your body over time and makes it more susceptible to diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Sleep deprived people are also three times more susceptible to the common cold. Some studies have shown that sleeping for just 5 hours or less per day increases one's mortality risk by up to 15%.[4] Sleep deprivation has also been linked to the development of mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease[5], schizophrenia, and depression[6]. It is very clear that getting sufficient sleep impacts the body just as much as having proper exercise and nutrition, and should be taken more seriously.

Adequate Sleep Helps You to Maintain or Lose Weight

A number of studies have shown that sleep deprivation causes weight gain. This is in part because lack of sleep leads to increased levels of ghrelin, the hormone that signals the body to take in more calories, and decreased levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite. As a result, the sleep deprived individual eats more. One study, in particular, showed that those who slept less tended to reach for carbohydrate rich foods for their late-night snack[7].

Adequate Sleep Makes Your Look Good

Adequate sleep also improves your physical appearance. BMJ published a study[8] that was conducted to determine whether people who lacked sleep were perceived as being less healthy and less attractive. The study concluded that sleep deprivation affects one's physical appearance. Lack of sleep makes people look tired and less healthy, and therefore less attractive.

All in all, having a good quality sleep every day gives you a sharper mind, longer life span, a stronger body, and better physical appearance. Adequate sleep decreases your risk of developing diseases dramatically, so never take sleep for granted. If you combine good quality sleep with proper nutrition and regular exercise, you can be assured of better health, and you lessen the need for dietary supplements.

If it has been your habit to cut back on your sleeping hours, you have to stop doing that right now. There are no studies yet citing how many hours we need to catch up on the sleep we lost and restore our health, but it surely takes more than one weekend to reverse the effects of our sleep loss during the entire week. One can only imagine how years of sleep deprivation can affect one's health.

How Can You Get Good Quality Sleep?

Some people do not get the required amount of sleep because they have trouble sleeping. Stress and worry are among the top causes of sleeplessness. Other factors include not having enough physical activity, not spending enough time outdoors, poor sleeping conditions, drinking alcohol, and others.

To help you sleep better at night, you need to have some regular physical activity. Exercise helps your body in many ways. First, it decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases the levels of the “happy hormone” endorphin, which improves mood. Second, it boosts your energy during the day and helps your body to easily go into rest mode at night.

You also need to spend some time outdoors during the early morning for you to get sunlight exposure. Early morning sunlight has an important role in the sleep—wake cycle; it regulates your internal biological clock and signals your brain that it's morning[9]. Because of this, your internal clock is able to keep track of the time, and it knows when it's time to sleep. Daily exposure to sunlight, ideally from 6:30 to 8:00 in the morning, for about 30 minutes keeps your internal clock intact. It also enables you to wake up and sleep at the same time each day.

For better sleep, avoid drinking alcohol before you hit the sack. Alcohol does not help you sleep better; it actually diminishes sleep quality[10]. Therefore, it is not to be taken to induce sleep, and ideally should not be ingested right before bedtime. You should also check if the temperature in your bedroom is comfortable enough. Most people sleep comfortably at 68 to 70 degrees, but this may vary for each individual, so adjust the temperature according to your preference. If concerns for the following day keep popping in your mind and prevent you from dozing off, keep a small notebook by your bedside so you can write them down and get back to them in the morning.

An undisturbed sleep of 7 to 8 hours every day is imperative for good health, so do whatever you can to improve your sleep. After all, you don't just want to lose weight, you also want to be healthier.

Quick Takeaway

·         Lack of sleep makes it difficult for you to focus, weakens your memory, and impairs your judgment.
·         Lack of sleep alters your body’s growth and repair mechanism.
·         Lack of sleep increases your risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, and even more mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.
·         Lack of sleep makes you gain weight
·         Lack of sleep makes you look unhealthy.
·         You can get good quality sleep by having regular physical activity, being exposed to early morning sunlight, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, and improving your sleeping conditions.





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What Good Quality Sleep Does to Your Body
Check out the benefits of quality sleep to your body.
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