The 12 benefits of sleeping well

Sleeping, besides being a great pleasure for most, is a basic physiological need.

Sleep has a positive impact on our health, causing the body to initiate a series of biochemical processes that cause us to perform physically and mentally when we stand up.

On the other hand, not having good sleep hygiene is synonymous with cognitive problems and illnesses. This is why we will see here the main benefits of sleeping well, In addition to understanding why this is a priority in our lives.

    The importance of enjoying hours of sleep

    Many people try to make big changes in their life, by joining a gym, doing yoga and eating healthy, but forgetting that good sleep hygiene is almost as important or more important than all of them. . Sleeping well has become a very strange thing.

    According to health institutions, such as the Center for Disease Control, not sleeping well has become a real public health epidemic. Almost half of the population does not get enough sleep, less than 7 hours (40%).

    This is not surprising. Work, family, worries of all kinds and colors make us run out of time, and when we’re done with all the chores, we find it is too late for us. We want to go to bed, but instead of doing it at a healthy time, like it would be going at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m., we do it at 1 a.m. Also the next day we have to get up early, so we’re not not guaranteed sleep between 6 and 8 hours recommended by experts.

    Going to bed late and, in addition, sleeping little has serious repercussions on our health, especially on cognitive and physical aspects.. We cannot concentrate, which affects our academic and professional performance, in addition to making us more vulnerable to illnesses and psychological disorders. All this contributes to the formation of a vicious circle: ** the less we sleep, the less we are in good health and the less we are in good health, the less we sleep **.

    It is for all this that priority must be given to the acquisition of a good hygiene of sleep, because it will improve our health and our mental state. Below, we’ll take a look at the main benefits of getting a good night’s sleep.

    The benefits of sleeping well, at a glance

    There are several health benefits, both physical and mental, that sleep well, as well as help us in our academic, work and social performance.

    1. Improves physical endurance

    Linked to the previous point, restful sleep allows us to regenerate at night. This translates into better aerobic endurance upon awakening, which is essential for anyone who exercises.

    This has been seen by the University of Standford, studies have confirmed that athletes who slept ten hours during competition, such as marathons, the Olympics or other sporting events, improved their times as well as their physical endurance.

    2. Develop muscle mass

    Any good athlete knows that he needs to sleep well not only because this improves physical endurance itself, but also helps in building the much desired muscle mass.

    Our bodies use it almost overnight to heal the damage it has done to cells and tissues.. This causes the muscle fibers tested to recover and harden during exercises such as lifting weights or “body pumps”.

    Not sleeping well does not allow muscle to grow and, in fact, insufficient sleep is linked to muscle atrophy.

    3. Protects memory

    Sleep heals neural connections. During the REM sleep phase (“rapid eye movements”), the hippocampus, known to be primarily a kind of memory, is being restored. Thanks to this, our memory capacity, both short and long term, is improved. This allows the memories to be set correctly.

    On the flip side, not getting enough sleep has been found to significantly impair our short-term working memory, although getting enough rest has the opposite effect.

      4. Improve academic performance

      Regarding the above benefit, We have seen that sleeping well is linked to better grades. Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have breathing problems, such as snoring or sleep apnea, are more likely to have learning disabilities.

      But it doesn’t just happen to teenagers. University adults who sleep poorly perform poorer academically, closely linked to poor hippocampal function at night.

      If you want to pass university exams correctly, it’s best to make sure you get all the time you need to sleep, making arrangements to avoid finishing studying at night.

      5. Improves attention

      One of the major recommendations of the education sector is to ensure that children get as much sleep as they should.

      According to an article in the journal Pediatrics, children aged 7 to 8 who sleep less than 8 hours are more likely to have attention problems, in addition to being distracted and impulsive. Lack of sleep during childhood has been associated with a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

      6. It makes us more attractive

      According to a study in the journal British Medical, people who sleep well at night gain a more attractive appearance in addition to looking healthier.

      On the contrary, poor sleep brings up the long-awaited glasses, which makes us look bad and old.

      7. It makes you healthier

      The immune system needs sleep to be able to regenerate itself, which allows it to defend itself against the pathogenic action of toxins and microorganisms. In short, it makes you healthier.

      In fact, research conducted by Carnegie Mellon University (USA) concluded that people who sleep less than six hours a day are three times more likely to catch a cold, Compared to those who sleep between six and eight hours.

        8. Avoid gaining weight

        Lack of sleep causes adipocytes, fat cells, to release less leptin, the appetite suppressant hormone.

        The less sleep there is, the more it happens to people with insomnia and the less leptin released, The stomach releases the counterpart: ghrelin, the hormone that induces appetite.

        Both actions lead to a lack of sleep associated with eating more and, as a result, a higher risk of gaining weight. In fact, sleep deprivation has been linked to obesity.

        9. Protects against diabetes

        Type 2 diabetes is a medical condition that has serious health implications, increasing the risk of strokes, amputations, blindness and organ damage.

        By not getting enough sleep, the body begins to lose the ability to control blood sugar, Contributing to the onset of diabetes. In fact, we have seen that sleeping less than five hours increases this possibility 2.5 times more than compared to those who sleep the recommended.

        10. Protects the heart

        According to the European Heart Journal, people who get little or little sleep are almost three times more likely to have heart problems, such as heart failure.

        Insomnia affects cardiovascular health by increasing blood levels of stress hormones (Adrenaline and cortisol), which in turn increases blood pressure and heart rate. On top of that, poor sleep has been linked to higher cholesterol levels, which is a major risk to cardiovascular health.

        11. Protects the skin

        Getting more sleep helps build healthier skin. Poor sleep hygiene has been shown, in addition to contributing to the aggravation of mental disorders such as depression or anxiety, to negatively affect the skin.

        This is particularly serious considering that these two Psychological conditions also have an impact on both sleep hygiene and skin health., Creating a vicious circle that keeps getting worse.

        Not getting enough sleep makes the skin much more sensitive to ultraviolet rays, which puts you at risk for melanoma. Since sunbathing is considered a treatment for depression, along with psychotherapy, not being able to take it to have unhealthy skin can make the condition worse.

        12. Reduces stress

        It’s no secret that sleeping less discourages us from having a bad mood. Not getting enough sleep makes us more irritable, which leads us to argue with our partner, family or friends for things that are essentially trifles.

        This has a hormonal explanation. During sleep, the body produces melanin and serotonin, hormones that counteract the effects of stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, thereby reducing stress.

        If you don’t get enough sleep, the production of anxiety hormones increases, which makes us cranky the next day.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., and Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Medicine, 1 (3), e62. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062
        • Fan, M., Sun, D, Zhou, T., Heianza, Y., Lv, J., Li. L., Qi, L. (2020). Sleep patterns, genetic susceptibility, and accidental cardiovascular disease: a prospective study of 385,292 UK biobank participants. European Heart Journal, 41 (11), 1182-1189.
        • Paavonen, E. J, Räikkönen, K., Lahti, J., Komsi, N., Heinonen, K., Pesonen, AK., Järvenpää, AL., Strandberg, L., Kajantie, E., Porkka-Heiskanen, T. (2009). Short Sleep Duration and Behavioral Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Healthy Children 7-8 Years of Age. Pediatrics 123 (5) e857-e864; DOI: 10.1542 / peds.2008-2164
        • Axelsson, J., Sundelin, T., Ingre, M., Van-Someren, E. Olsson, A. (2010). Dreams of beauty: an experimental study on the perceived health and attractiveness of people deprived of sleep. BMJ, 341.
        • Mah, CD, Mah, KE, Kezirian, EJ and Dement, WC (2011). The effects of extended sleep on the athletic performance of college basketball players. Dorm, 34 (7), 943-950. https://doi.org/10.5665/SLEEP.1132

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