Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Why Getting Enough Sleep Is Vital

Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for your health, both physically and mentally. It’s as important as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet, and when combined with these things, it truly is the best way to ensure that you can live a happy, healthy life. Unfortunately, there are many problems in life that can cause us to have less sleep than is good for us; we can even become sleep deprived. When you know how important sleep is, however, you will be more likely to try to attain it. Here are some reasons why sleep should never be overlooked.

Weight Gain

Not getting enough sleep, or having a poor quality of sleep, can lead to weight gain. In fact, studies have shown that those who regularly sleep for less time than their body needs have a 55 percent chance of being obese. Not only is being overweight bad for your health, but it can also be difficult to lose that excess weight if you continue to sleep badly. This is because those who sleep less tend to eat more calories during the day. The body is craving something to help it heal itself, and that can result in the need for sugar and fatty foods. When you sleep enough, the body can repair itself without the need for these ‘extras.’

When trying to lose weight, getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to your success, as otherwise all the hard work you are putting in at the gym and the good food that you’re eating won’t have the desired effect.

Poor Concentration

Lack of sleep will leave you feeling unproductive and unable to concentrate. Depending on how tired you are, even the simplest of tasks can become difficult, and tasks such as driving or operating heavy machinery can become dangerous. The more sleep you get, the better you will feel, and the more able you will be to cope with the challenges that life throws at you during the day. It can mean you are generally a much more successful person who can be positive about life, and that helps with your overall health as well.

The right amount of sleep has been shown to improve memory and enhance people’s ability to solve problems. It makes sense to go to bed earlier or get up later if that is what is needed to ensure you have a more productive day.

Physical Performance

If you’ve ever wondered why some days you can achieve your personal best (or even beat it!) and some days you don’t come anywhere near it in sports or athletics, think back to how much sleep you got the night before. When you sleep less, your body isn’t ready to perform well physically. For some, even walking might be difficult and turn into a tired kind of shuffle. For those who play sports or go running, for example, it can mean that they under-perform. It is bad enough if you are exercising for yourself, but when you are on a team or even competing in a match or competition, it can be devastating. Sleeping properly will give you the best chance of reaching your peak physical fitness.

Heart Disease And Stroke

Poor quality sleep over a prolonged length of time has been shown to lead to a greater chance of heart disease and stroke. Although the reasons for this are not yet conclusive,

studies are ongoing. The best way to stay fit and healthy is to sleep well, even if we don’t know exactly how and why it all works.

Type II Diabetes

Although this may not be the first condition that comes to mind when thinking about why you need to get a good night’s sleep, type II diabetes can actually be caused by sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep affects the blood sugar levels in your body, and that means that you can go on to produce less insulin. Those who sleep for less than six hours a night are the ones who are at most risk of developing this condition.

Depression

Depression, as well as other mental health issues, is linked to sleep deprivation. The problem here is that lack of sleep can lead to depression, and depression can lead to lack of sleep, ensuring that the cycle continues and recovering from this mental health problem becomes more difficult. It is why it can be important to speak to a medical professional if you are depressed, or unable to sleep (or both) and they will be able to recommend a course of action which might be medication or could be counselling.

Your Immune System

Those who sleep less than they should also seem to be more at risk of picking up all kinds of colds, bugs, and other illnesses. This is because their immune system is compromised; it can be bombarded with lots of germs and bacteria, and then because there is not enough sleep time for the system to repair itself and work on fighting more, it can fail, or not work well enough. If you seem to have a constant cold, it might be a lack of sleep rather than anything else that is causing it.

How To Sleep Well

It is clear then that sleeping well is essential if you want to be healthy and happy in life. It isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Firstly, stress can be a major contributor to insomnia, so trying to be as stress-free as possible can certainly help. It might mean taking your finances in hand and looking at this comparison page so that you can reduce your monthly outgoings and sleep more peacefully. It could mean finding a job that makes you happy, not one that you dread. You might have to sit down with your partner and discuss your relationship. Do what you need to do to clear your mind and sleep well.

Apart from stress, screens are a big problem that leads to lack of sleep. It might be a TV, a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet, but the point is that the blue light from these screens confuses your body and brain and make it difficult for you to sleep. Your body will think it’s still daytime and will try to keep you awake. Stop using screens at least an hour before bed, and you’ll see a big difference.

Mandy X