Ahhh...sleep. We all love to hate it. I mean, who hasn’t imagined all the wonderful things we could accomplish if we spent a couple more hours awake and spent less time sleeping? I know I have.
But in practice, this doesn’t work out so well. After a few sleep deprived nights, we don’t accomplish much as all our mind can think about is how nice it would feel to curl up in our beds and sleep until we feel refreshed again. There’s a reason why we feel this way, and it’s because your body intuitively knows just how important sleep is. In fact, it craves it.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to make sleep a priority in your life.
1. You will feel happier and less moody
Even the best of us get the Garfield Grumps when we haven’t had a good night’s rest. It’s often surprising how short tempered and moody we can become when we are sleep deprived by only a couple hours. And if you are chronically sleep deprived, this moody version of you becomes the normal version of you. So do yourself a favor and get plenty of shut eye so you don’t bite the head off of anyone who mildly bugs you.
2. You will be thinner
Our hunger and fullness sensations are controlled by two main hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals your body that you are hungry and you should eat while leptin signals your body that you are full and that it’s time to stop eating. A sufficiently rested person has these two hormones in good balance with each other so you eat when you need to and stop when you are full. A sleep deprived person, on the other hand, has these two hormones knocked out of balance causing you to be excessively hungry. And since sleep-deprived people are more impulsive, they tend to gravitate towards easy, tasty foods (like fast-food) rather than taking the time to prepare a healthy meal.
3. You will get sick less
Your immune system is highly dependent on your sleep. Studies show that poor sleep leads to a poor immune system. In fact, a study was conducted that tested the sleeping habits of 150 people and they found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep a night were significantly more likely to get sick. If you're tired of suffering during flu season, remember that your immune system works at its best when you get plenty of quality sleep.
4. Your mind will be sharper and will function at top performance
Good sleep is crucial for the functioning of your brain. Sleep deprivation has been shown to lead to difficulty in controlling emotions, staying focused, and solving problems. So overall, if you skip on the sleep, you can expect to be less productive and make more mistakes in whatever you do. Some studies have even shown that your driving ability is affected just as much by being sleep deficient as by being drunk.
5. You will prevent various diseases
Sleep of 6 hours or less per night has been shown to cause an increase in inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes a whole host of problems including premature aging, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Getting quality sleep every night is one pillar of a healthy life that you cannot ignore. Although everyone is slightly different, it’s recommended that you have at least 7 quality hours of sleep per night if you want to be at your healthiest.
by Griffin Williams - Nature Restore Health & Wellness Contributor