Benefits Of Sleep & How To Improve Sleep
Sleeping well is incredibly important for your health. It is just as important as eating a balanced diet and exercising. Though sleep needs vary from person to person, most adults require between 7 and 9 hours per night. Yet three quarters of Brits get less than 8 hours. Sleep deprivation can put your health and safety at risk, which is why it is essential that this is prioritised.
Why Sleep Is Important:
- May Help You Maintain Or Lose Weight – Numerous studies have shown that lack of sleep has been linked with greater risk of weight gain and a higher BMI. A 2020 analysis found that adults that slept less than 7 hours per night had a 41% increased risk of developing obesity. The effect on weight gain is affected by many factors. For instance, sleep deprivation increases levels of ghrelin and decreases levels of leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that makes us feel hungry while leptin makes us feel full. This may cause us to feel hungrier and overeat.
- Can Improve Concentration & Productivity – Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. Cognition, concentration, productivity and performance are all negatively affected by sleep deprivation. Sleeping well has been shown to improve problem solving skills and enhance memory performance in both children and adults.
- Can Maximise Athletic Performance – Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance. Numerous studies have shown that sleeping well can improve reaction time, muscular power and muscular endurance. Whereas a lack of sleep may increase risk of injury and lower motivation to exercise.
- May Strengthen Your Heart – Low sleep quality and duration can increase your risk of developing heart disease. One analysis found that sleeping fewer than 7 hours per day resulted in a 13% increased risk of death from heart disease. Interestingly it has been found that sleeping less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours both increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Affects Sugar Metabolism & Type 2 Diabetes Risk – It’s thought that sleep deprivation can cause physiological changes like decreased insulin sensitivity, increased inflammation, hunger hormone changes, as well as behavioural changes like poor decision making and greater food intake. All of these increase the risk of diabetes.
- Poor Sleep Is Linked To Depression – Mental health concerns, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.
- Supports A Healthy Immune System – If you have not slept well then there is a higher chance that your immune function could become impaired. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep can improve your immune function and help fight the common cold.
Tips To Improve Sleep:
- Create a routine, try to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday.
- Make sure that your bedroom is a quiet, dark and relaxing area.
- Remove electronic devices such as TVs, computers and smartphones from the bedroom.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed time.
- Exercise, being physically active during the day can help you to switch off.
- Meditation can help you relax.
If you found this blog useful and would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at David Jones Personal Training.