3 Reasons Why Sleep Is Critical to Your Health
Twenty-six years: that’s how long the average human spends sleeping throughout a lifetime. Considering the fact that you spend nearly three decades of your life in slumber, it brings into question why sleep is so important and what we can do to ensure we’re benefiting from sleep as much as possible.
In recent months, the idea of “clean sleeping” has been trending throughout social and scientific circles. As a promoter of clean sleeping, actress and all-natural cosmetic connoisseur Gwyneth Paltrow has been speaking out about the importance of pairing good, quality sleep with a healthy diet and regular exercise in order to balance and boost both your appetite and energy levels. She also promotes the idea that getting a full eight hours of restful, quality sleep should take precedence even over things like diet.
And while Paltrow undoubtedly has a point about clean-sleeping being an overall health and wellness booster, at Vasayo, we believe that sleep in general (even if it’s not your greatest skill) plays a vital role in your health routine. Here’s why:
Sufficient sleep promotes a healthy mind
Lack of sleep plays a direct role in the health and functionality of your brain. Have you ever noticed that, after poor or little sleep, you find it hard to concentrate on or complete complex assignments? Lack of sleep can affect your brain in ways you’ve probably never even considered. From thinking clearly and controlling your emotions to sustaining healthy relationships and stabilizing your mood, sleep plays a role in it all. Studies have even shown excessive sleepiness to hurt work performance and enhance the mental and emotional effects of preexisting conditions like depression and insomnia.
Finding your ideal sleep cycle will give your brain the downtime it needs to essentially flush out the toxins that build up during waking hours. Getting good sleep also helps you store memories better and improve your brain’s restorative functions. Simply put, regular, quality sleep helps your brain operate at its greatest potential which ultimately sets you up to be the best you can be.
Sufficient sleep promotes a healthy body
Just as your body needs food, water, and air to survive, it needs sleep. During your adolescent years, hormones are released during sleep that promote normal bone growth and muscle development, and also help repair damaged cells and tissues.
As we age, sleep continues to play a vital role in our physical health. Aside from the common side effects of sleep deprivation like excessive sleepiness, yawning, and irritability, chronic sleeplessness can affect critical functions like balance, coordination, and decision-making. What you might not know, however, is that not getting your full eight hours each night can have profound, lasting effects on your physical health. In fact, a study done by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that those who sleep less than five hours are 15% more likely to die from [a variety of causes] than those who get regular, sufficient sleep.
Check out the following ways in which quality sleep benefits your body’s key systems:
- The immune system: When you’re asleep, your body’s immune system produces antibodies and cells needed to fight off harmful substances like bacteria and viruses. Sleep give your immune system the tools and energy it needs to work properly and effectively.
- The respiratory system: Getting sufficient sleep can help your body ward off respiratory problems like the cold and flu.
- The digestive system: Several studies have found a direct link between sleep and weight gain, and consider it to be one of the leading risk factors for obesity. Because sleep deprivation promotes the production of the stress hormone cortisol, your body’s levels of the hormone leptin are triggered, telling the body it has not had enough to eat. Other biochemicals are then triggered which can further stimulate your appetite.
- The cardiovascular system: Weight gain and cardiovascular issues are often linked to sleep deprivation simply because sleep plays a critical role in healing and repairing your body’s blood vessels and your heart. Along with complications like high blood pressure, researchers have also linked sleep deprivation to heart disease, stroke, and other risks.
Sufficient sleep keeps you safe and sharp
Did you know that, when studying some of history’s worst man-made catastrophes, researchers concluded that sleep and sleep-related factors played a major role? For example, sleep deprivation was a contributing factor in the explosion at Three Mile Island in 1979, the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes, injuries, and deaths each year.
Along with keeping your mind and body healthy, sleep also plays a critical role in ensuring you stay alert and safe throughout your waking hours. Not only will you be able to finish tasks in a more efficient manner, but you’ll also maintain a quick reaction time, make fewer mistakes, and boost your productivity. When your brain and body have had the time necessary to recharge, the chances of taking unwarranted risks or making costly, preventable mistakes diminishes greatly.
All in all, getting enough sleep is critical for the vitality of your physical and mental health. Just because you don’t work a graveyard shift or even if you’re not a doctor, pilot, lawyer, or student doesn’t mean you’re immune to sleep deprivation.
Solutions for Better Sleep
If you find yourself struggling to get a restful night’s sleep, or you seem to constantly be stressing about work or responsibilities when it’s time to go to bed, MicroLife Sleep can help. Made with proprietary liposomal-encapsulation technology and designed with relaxation in mind, this micro-mist spray helps optimize your body’s natural sleep mechanisms to facilitate rest and relaxation without leaving you tired and groggy in the morning.