25 Nov The importance of a good nights sleep
Do you understand the importance of a good nights sleep?
The importance of a good nights sleep. It’s happened to us all. You’ve got a busy day coming up tomorrow, you lie there all night ‘trying’ to get to sleep. Look at the clock and its 4 minutes after the last time you looked. You envy the dog, curled up and dreaming at the foot of the bed. Your alarm finally goes off in the morning and you wonder why you bothered! You feel rubbish, you crave caffeine, chocolate or to go back to bed.
We all know that a good day starts with a good nights sleep. A full nine hours can make you feel ready for anything the day is going to throw at you. It’s not always that easy though, and the more you think about it, the worse it can get. You know you need to put the right fuel in your body with a healthy diet. Lots of exercise is importantn too, so is getting the right amount of sleep.
There are plenty more but these are our top five reasons why you need a good kip!
1. Keep yourself healthy
A lack of sleep can increase the risks of serious heart related problems. High blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are just a few. If you wake a lot in the night, especially very suddenly your bodies ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in. Your sympathetic nervous system starts up and wakes the rest of you up too. Blood pressure increases as the blood rushes round your body preparing you to wake up.
It can also have an effect on your insulin levels. Your body can struggle to regulate your blood sugar and your levels can get disrupted.
Of course, there are plenty of other lower risk health concerns too. Plenty of sleep will keep your immune system healthy. It will help to keep those pesky colds and sniffles away. Your body needs time to repair and protect itself. The more time you can give it to do that the fitter and healthier you will feel.
2. Cognitive function
Plenty of sleep is good for physical health but metal too. As you sleep your rain processed all the information it took in that day. The phrase ‘sleep on it’ isn’t something your mum says to get you to stop ranting about something! It’s a proven fact that good sleep can help your brain absorb information and help you learn things easier. Things really are clearer in the morning!
A regular sleep pattern also helps you stay focused. You can maintain a better concentration during your day. As nice as it is to let your mind wander and daydream, its not always very practical. Reaction times, strategic thinking and attention span are all affected by a lack of sleep.
3. Mental and emotional wellbeing
If you are in a bit of a stressful place emotionally then a bad night’s sleep can make it all seem ten times worse. It can often be a vicious circle. You’re tired. It makes you stressed, you stress about being tired… A bad night’s sleep can leave you feeling fed up and grumpy. The day gets worse from there. Trying to ‘empty’ your head before you go to bed can often be helpful. Keeping a diary or notes about the things you need to do the next day can help clear your mind. You have it written down so you don’t need to try and remember and so it helps you drift off easier. When you get stressed your body releases hormones like cortisol that can keep you awake. Keeping your stress responses calm will help you sleep better and in turn make you calmer the day after.
4. Keeping a healthy weight
Sleep plays an important part in regulating how your body processes food for energy. You burn more energy because you have been up longer, you will also need to use more to keep yourself warm and active.
Having trouble sleeping? Often have very little sleep? It can have a knock-on effect with your weight. You will feel tired the next day and your body will crave ‘naughty’ foods. High sugar and high fat content foods are more appealing. You are more likely to ‘need’ these foods to keep you going through the day. A good sleep routine can help you control your appetite and your weight.
5. Maintain good relationships Don’t take it out on everyone else! Those little things that make your husband soooooo annoying? Probably due to your tiredness and grumpyness. A good sleep will put you in a better mindset and it will be easier to deal with family, friends and work mates. It’s much easier to maintain positive relationships when you have a good sleep.
Find out more about the importance of a good nights sleep, with this article by Bupa.