With the daily ebb and flow of life, and all of the “busyness” that comes along the way, by the time you lay your head down at night, you may find your mind racing with thoughts. Although you are seemingly exhausted when bedtime rolls around, you may become wide awake once your head hits the pillow. Whether you are having trouble getting to sleep or constantly waking up throughout the night, not getting a good night’s sleep can be detrimental to your health. Understanding the benefits of a good night’s sleep may gear you towards a better night’s sleep and help you put yourself first when it comes to getting a full night of rest.
The Disease Fighter
An insufficient amount of sleep on a regular basis can wreak havoc on your health and well-being. Oftentimes, when we feel sick or have a cold, all we want to do is sleep all day. Why is this? Our bodies are taking all of our energy and using it to fight off the cold or health issue. When our bodies are fully rested, it is much easier for us to get better and back to our normal selves. Now, consider this situation flipped and it results in the same outcome. If we consistently deprive our body of healthy sleep each night, our body will not have the energy to fight off any diseases or health issues that come along and it will be much easier for us to get sick. For this reason, healthy sleeping patterns can help avoid these health issues.
Chronic insomnia has an adverse effect on your immune system and raises your risk of developing health conditions -- some that may even become quite serious. Getting enough sleep each night can help prevent these serious health issues and diseases, namely diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.
Sleep helps your body and mind with the utmost ability to learn and keep a good memory. If your body is sleep deprived or you are experiencing inconsistent sleep patterns, you may notice that you begin to become lethargic and fatigued as the day goes on. These feelings may cause your attention to detail and acquisition of new knowledge to become quite difficult. Creating healthy sleep habits and getting good quality of sleep, approximately 6 to 8 hours, each night allows your body and mind to rest and aids in memory consolidation, which in turn allows you to be more productive the next day. Keep a consistent sleep-wake cycle to allow your body to stay on track for feeling energized and present each day.
Memory consolidation is also vital in the role of acquiring new knowledge and information. Whether you have a big test coming up, a big proposal or presentation to make at work, or are simply conquering life’s challenges, your memory must be working at its full potential in order to get the results that you want. Being sleep deprived or having inconsistent sleep patterns will be your worst enemy when it comes to these types of situations. Make a point to not work past a certain time or hour at night, as to ensure that you are not falling asleep during the day of your big presentation. In addition, this will not only help to remind your brain and body when it is time to start the transition to night-time sleep mode, but will also help you be more productive as you will be prioritizing your time more efficiently.
A tired mind and body present the brain with opportunities for negative or poor decision-making. When hunger strikes throughout the day, sleep deprivation causes you to make poor decisions in terms of choosing what to eat. Your impulses may be elevated, and you may find yourself choosing foods that are “quick and easy,” including those that contain a high amount of carbohydrates and sugars. These types of convenience foods may give you a quick burst of energy; however, they can also lead to weight gain and an unhealthy diet.
Not only does sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality oftentimes lead to a poor diet, but also decreases the body’s energy for getting any type of exercise. With the proper amount of sleep, your body and mind will feel more energized and motivated to be active. Full circle, once your body has been active, you are more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep (your body will get more hours of sleep), as your body will be tired. Just 30 minutes of exercise each day will aid in this process and help you get a good night’s sleep.
An alert mind allows you to think more clearly and avoid irrational thoughts and decisions. When stressful situations come your way, with effective sleep, you are able to handle them much more rationally and without loss of mental control. When your body is fatigued, your stress hormones may become excessively elevated. Increased stress hormones trigger your mental response to stressful situations and may cause you to feel very anxious, angry, and even depressed. Simply, the idea of not getting enough sleep can cause you to stress out. With a deficiency of rest, your body is receiving a confusing mix of signals -- to stay completely alert during the day, but also to go to sleep, as your body is exhausted, running low on energy, and needs to power down. Be mindful of what your body is telling you and reduce the constant stress. Thinking clearly and looking at all aspects of what causes the stress will allow your mind to respond appropriately and positively.Feeling Overworked and stressed? Here are 7 tips to help you get through the day.
Alongside a good night’s sleep, meditation can also help reduce stress. Check out our related blog, Five Ways Meditation Can Help Reduce Stress.
It’s so important to keep in mind all of the great benefits of a good night’s sleep to ensure sure your body is getting fully rested and avoiding any unnecessary harm. In addition to each of these amazing benefits of a healthy sleep pattern, the pleasure of waking up each morning feeling good about the coming day’s tasks will help you feel happier and more productive. With the energy you are gifted after a beneficial sleep cycle, you will be able to play the role of an amazing performer throughout your day’s many tasks, no matter what they may be.