Although people spend a lot of their time sleeping, most seem to forget how important sleep is. Restful sleep is something people take for granted instead of trying to figure out how much it affects their lives. There is such a thing as sleeping too much or too little.
And even if you get enough sleep, you still need to consider the quality of your sleep. You can sleep seven to nine hours and wake up tired. That’s because the quality of your sleep is just as important as the quantity. Many things can affect the quality of your sleep. Psychological disorders in the course of your day. Even sleep disorders, such as insomnia, must be taken into account.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t burn out and rely on those seven hours of sleep to save you. You need to make a conscious effort to ensure that your sleep quality is the best it can be. Although sleep issues haven’t been discussed much in the past, scientists are beginning to point out how vital sleep is to us. It is precisely for this reason that even Harvard scientists explain the importance of restful sleep.
Why do you have trouble sleeping?
Although many factors can affect the quality of your sleep, chronic sleep deprivation is one of the biggest problems. Chronic sleep deprivation is a condition caused by lack of sleep or insomnia for a long time. Its severity can vary, and in some cases it can be caused by an underlying sleep disorder.
Chronic sleep deprivation can be primary or secondary. When we talk about primary sleep deprivation, it’s when the sleep you’re getting is itself a problem. Because you don’t get enough sleep, or the sleep is not of good quality, it causes other problems in your life. Secondary means that lack of good sleep is an unrelated issue. Certain medical conditions, such as anxiety, can lead to sleep deprivation. Symptoms include dark circles under the eyes and the inability to keep the eyes open in both cases.
In addition to this, you may experience head shaking, irritability, lack of energy, trouble concentrating, and yawning. Another common condition is insomnia. This is when you feel you need and want to sleep, but you just can’t. And even if you do fall asleep, you have trouble staying asleep or sleeping as late as you want. Insomnia affects around 35% of adults and is a problem people often overlook. Insomnia often results from bad habits and even psychological problems.
Stress, an irregular sleep schedule, and anxiety can cause this disorder. Moreover, having an unhealthy lifestyle can also lead to cases of insomnia. Taking a late afternoon nap, sleeping more than you should, and using technological devices can affect your sleep. Not all cases of insomnia are the same. For some people, the problem is falling asleep (falling asleep). In other cases, the problem is staying asleep (sleep maintenance). Insomnia is also a common problem among teenagers and the elderly.
Many other sleep disorders can affect people of all ages. For example, aging is a common factor that leads to a decrease in sleep quality. In addition to insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation, people can also suffer from sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Sleep apnea causes blockage of the upper airways, which can cause a rude awakening. When it comes to restless legs syndrome, it causes an uncomfortable feeling that can also disrupt sleep.
Why is restful sleep important?
These are just some of the problems associated with sleep disorders. But you don’t have to have a long-term illness to have poor sleep habits. Just be indifferent to your sleep habits and you will suffer the consequences. But, as with all problems, there are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
1. Restful sleep improves your health
An adult needs an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night to be healthy. Children and teenagers need many more hours of sleep to develop and be healthy. But sleeping the recommended amount is not enough. If your rest isn’t of good quality, you won’t get the full benefits. Simply put, if you wake up frequently, have trouble sleeping, or sleep very little, that means you have a problem.
In this case, you should plan to see a doctor, as you may have a sleep disorder. What is important to know is that lack of sleep leads to serious health problems. If you sleep less than six hours a night, you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. You are also at risk for heart problems, stroke, cognitive decline, and even death in some cases.
Lack of sleep also leads to weight gain and increased cortisol levels. Recently, scientists have identified that it activates a brain cleansing function when your brain is at rest. While you sleep, fluid passes through the lymphatic system. This liquid has been shown to eliminate a harmful protein, beta-amyloid. When this process does not occur, the protein builds up, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline.
The problem with regular sleep deprivation is that people can tolerate sleep deprivation. You begin to be less aware of your brain and body fatigue and you sleep less and less. After a while, sleeping too little becomes routine and you are at risk of developing all of the conditions listed above.
Too much sleep can also be a problem. This may seem paradoxical, since most people associate a lot of sleep with rest. But this is not the case. Like too little sleep, too much sleep can lead to diabetes, heart problems, strokes and death. Oversleeping is often caused by depression or not getting enough sleep the night before. So, in many cases, solving the lack of sleep also solves the excess sleep.
When you’re battling sleep interruptions, the first thing you need to do is force yourself to stick to a strict sleep schedule. You also need to make sure that you have a healthy lifestyle. Don’t drink too much caffeine, exercise, or use too much technology. If your sleep patterns do not improve, you should see a doctor.
2. Sleep reduces stress
Sleep is closely related to a person’s cortisol levels. When you aren’t rested or don’t get enough sleep, your cortisol levels skyrocket. High cortisol levels are good in the short term because they improve concentration. But in the long run, they cause hormonal imbalances and stress. If you are stressed, it affects your health.
Stress increases your heart rate and shuts down certain systems to conserve energy. If you subject your body to this every day, you will inevitably have heart problems, increased blood pressure, memory loss and many other problems. When you get enough sleep, you allow your body to go through the full sleep cycle. In this cycle, the body has the time and resources to resolve whatever is wrong with your body.
One of the main things that is regulated is cortisol levels. This means you’ll be better equipped to deal with stress the next day. And above all, you will not wake up stressed. Therefore, being rested improves memory. When you have restful sleep, the mind can process all the stimuli it received while you were awake. Strengthens neural connections, which allow you to form memories. This means that while you sleep, you create new memories, which is vital for the learning process.
3. Restful sleep affects your weight
Although your weight is not absolutely necessary from a beauty point of view, it plays a vital role in your health. Fluctuating a few pounds is not a problem at all. But, when you are overweight or very underweight, that is when you will have to face some health issues. And sleep is linked to weight gain and calorie regulation.
In 2020, a study found that people who sleep less than seven hours a night have a 41% increased risk of developing obesity. Weight gain is caused by many factors. For example, increased leptin levels and decreased ghrelin levels affect weight gain. The imbalance of hormones causes an increase in appetite.
Also, to compensate for the lack of sleep, your body will ask you for a higher calorie intake. Sleep is crucial for calorie intake, which is why coaches often recommend athletes sleep until ten. If that’s not enough, you may not feel like exercising if you don’t have enough energy. In this way, you will gain calories without any means of compensating for this excess.
Weight gain, especially when it comes to obesity, has a disastrous impact on your health. It causes hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and even death. It even affects your mental wellbeing, leading to poor quality of life, depression, anxiety, and more. The only way to avoid unwanted weight gain from disruptive sleep patterns is to regulate your sleep. Make sure you have a clear sleep schedule and focus on a healthy lifestyle.
Final Thoughts on the Importance of Restful Sleep (and How to Get It)
Sleep is an integral part of a person’s life, but its importance is overlooked by many. It seems natural that most people think they could never screw it up. But getting restful sleep is a lot more complicated than you might think.
Many factors can interfere with restful sleep. The most common are sleep disorders, such as insomnia and chronic sleep disorders. But an unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and an irregular sleep schedule can also reduce the quality of your sleep. From your health to your stress level and your weight, insomnia can affect your quality of life.
If you find that your sleep is not as good as you would like, you should make a conscious effort to establish a clear sleep schedule. Make sure you have a healthy lifestyle and if other problems arise, see a doctor.
By Lakeisha Ethans. Articles in English