A great image from JPS HEALTH AND FITNESS explaining the things to ensure that you do daily so that sleep quality can be improved. Have a read of the image, save it for future reference, and then continue reading this blog.
Why is sleep so important?
Why do we always mention the necessity of getting a good nights sleep?
Firstly, when we look at Stress Management we want to make sure that we are more Parasympathetic Dominant (rest and digest) than Sympathetic Dominant (fight or flight). In our current world, 99% of the population is living in Sympathetic Dominance with very little Parasympathetic Dominance.
This isn't ideal for the body when looking at wanting to feel better, improve health markers (i.e. blood pressure and resting heart rate), lose body fat, or improve digestion.
Sleep is the first and most important step when wanting to improve these things. If sleep quality isn't high, it will be a lot harder for you to do something as simple as digest food which has a huge impact on your bodies ability to lose body fat.
Other areas that we benefit when our sleep is improved include the following:
1. Better Productivity And Concentration
There were several studies that scientists did in the early 2000s that looked at the effects of sleep deprivation.
What the researchers concluded is that sleep has links to several brain functions, including:
A more recent 2015 study in the Journal of Child Psychology and PsychiatryTrusted Sourceshowed that children's sleep patterns can have a direct impact on their behavior and academic performance.
2. Lower The Risk Of Weight Gain
The link between weight gain and obesity and short sleep patterns is not completely clear.
There have been several studies throughout the years that have linked obesity and poor sleep patterns.
However, a more recent study in the journal Sleep MedicineTrusted Source concludes that there is no link between being overweight and sleep deprivation.
This research argues that many previous studies fail to account adequately for other factors, such as:
- drinking alcohol
- living with type 2 diabetes
- level of physical activity
- education levels
- long working hours
- long sedentary time
A lack of sleep may affect a person's desire or ability to maintain a healthful lifestyle, but it may or may not be a direct contributor to weight gain.
3. Lower The Risk Of Heart Disease
One risk factor for heart disease is high blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, getting adequate rest each night allows the body's blood pressure to regulate itself.
Doing so can reduce the chances of sleep-related conditions such as apnea and promote better overall heart health.