Top 5 Reasons Why Sleep Is Important For Your Body
Sleep is of dire importance to your health. In fact, your body needs sleep the same way it needs good nutrition, diet, and movement.
Despite the uptick in understanding just how important sleep is and what we get from it, the majority of Americans are getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of health challenges. Taking steps to ensure a good night's sleep and that your body receives all the amazing benefits that come with it is crucial to living your best life.
Why Getting Enough Sleep is Essential
You should be aiming for 7+ hours of sleep minimally, although the ideal would be between 8-9 hours. Some may say that they couldn’t possibly sleep that long, but that is only because a body can be trained to survive in a sleep deprived state. Spending some time to build better sleep habits can reverse this.
1. It Improves Your Heart Health
Sleeping less than seven hours a day has been linked to an increased chance of heart disease.
An NCBI report showed that sleeping for less than seven hours a day can increase your risk of heart disease by 13%. The report also showed that for every one hour of sleep that you deprive yourself, your chances of dying due to a heart condition goes up by 6%.
Sleep is also a great, natural tool to use for blood pressure regulation. Getting enough sleep allows your body to make sure your blood pressure stays in its optimal range.
2. Increased Social and Emotional Intelligence
The benefits of good sleep go beyond physical health; it transcends into our day-to-day living.
Sleeping well plays a major role in our social and emotional intelligence. If you're not getting enough sleep, there's a high chance that you'll find difficulty recognizing other people's expressions and emotions.
A Journal of Sleep Research study showed that better sleep could help with a person's emotional stimuli. The study also confirmed what previous studies had stipulated; less sleep will result in a person having low emotional empathy.
3. Preventing Depression
Mental health and resilience go hand in hand with healthy, deep sleep. The relationship between sleep and many mental diseases has been the subject of much research. One of the results of all of this research is proof of the link between lack of quality sleep and depression.
JAMA Psychiatry studied suicide cases over the last decade and found that most were linked to sleep deprivation. Also, people suffering from sleep disorders like insomnia or apnea have higher rates of depression.
4. Stronger Immune System
Every time you sleep, you help your body repairs and recover. That's why sleep is so important for proper immune function.
An NCBI study on sleep and cold showed that people who slept for more than seven hours a night are less likely to come down with a cold. Whereas people who sleep five hours or less have a 5x higher chance of catching a cold..
There have also been reports that proper sleep can affect the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, more research is needed to better understand this connection.
5. Improved Productivity
A night of good sleep is your brain's best friend. Sleep deprivation negatively affects the brain's concentration, productivity, and overall performance.
A study done on doctors showed that those with low sleep hours tend to report more cases of medical errors in their work. Good sleep can help in memory retention, which is vital for success in academics and other fields of life. There’s also a sharp growth in problem-solving skills for children and adults.
The Bottom Line
The rush of life has led us to forget or simply ignore the importance of sleep and our health. Nutrition and diet can go a long way in ensuring you live a healthy and abundant life.
The adverse effects of sleep deprivation are numerous. They include a weakened immune system, low productivity, and poor health.
There are also mental and emotional effects like the increased chance of depression and the inability to properly show emotions. That's why prioritizing your sleep is so important.