8 Reasons You Need 8 Hours of Sleep

Committing to 8 hours of sleep each night can be a challenge, but once you see the health benefits you will be glad you did. As recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping longer is a behavior change that directly affects your physical, emotional, and social intellectual dimensions of health and wellness. Let’s check out some of the reasons why staying well rested is so crucial.

1. Increased Alertness

There is a direct relationship between memory and sleep. When you are sleeping your brain forms new pathways between neurons and processes information. This includes things you learned and various experiences from that day, and then your brain stores the new information. On a day-to-day basis your brain is lacking time it needs to consolidate everything you learn. Due to this, you cant perform to your full potential and you’re not able to process information as quickly as normal.

Not getting enough sleep compromises your productivity, coordination, and concentration, leading to poor performance and a decrease in alertness. Getting quality sleep will lead to sleep benefits including increased alertness.

2. Higher Energy Levels

Without the adequate amount of sleep, your body and your brain aren’t getting enough quality time to rest and relax leaving you drained both mentally and physically. During sleep, it allows your body enough time to repair and restore your body so you’re prepared for the next day. With more sleep, you are less likely to skip the gym and have more desire to go to a social event as you will have higher energy levels.

3. Increased Immune System

When you sleep your immune system releases cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that help promote activity and growth of blood cells and other immune system cells. They are responsible for telling your immune system how do it its job. Your immune system helps to protect you from pathogens that can make you sick. Chronic sleeplessness may result in a decrease in cytokines. This results in you being more susceptible to sickness and usually prolongs your recovery time when you do get sick. The more you sleep the stronger your immune system will be.

4. Mental Health Effects

Sleeplessness can negatively affect your decision-making skills. Impatience, mood swings, short tempers, and display of irrational emotions are all side effects of sleeplessness. Other psychological effects can consist of depression, anxiety, and paranoia. To reduce these effects its important to get quality sleep so you are well-rested and ready for the next day.

5. Changes in your Diet

Sleep deprivation affects the reward center in your brain. In fact, this can increase your sugar cravings as well as high-fat food cravings. These cravings prompt you to feel less satisfied and hungrier throughout the day. Additionally, sleeplessness can affect your emotional and behavioral control leading you to make some dietary changes that you might not usually make. For example, this is eating out of emotion or stress. This all can lead to overeating and undesirable weight gain. Positive changes in your diet will be seen when you start to get approximately 8 hours of sleep each night.

6. Hormone Regulation

A stress hormone, cortisol, impacts your quality of sleep. A poor nights sleep can hinder your ability to regulate cortisol. This will have you feeling more stressed due to more stress hormones being released during the day. Chronic stress is a risk factor for heart disease along with high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Your appetite-controlling hormones, leptin and ghrelin, are also negatively affected. Ghrelin is released to signal that you’re hungry and leptin is released as a signal that you’re full. Sleep deprivation can have a variety of negative side effects. One of them being a greater release of ghrelin telling your brain that you’re hungry and also a decrease in leptin causing you to not have the ability to recognize it’s full. Hormones will be regulated when you have the sufficient amount of sleep at night for you and your body to function properly.

7. Tissue Recovery

Sleep is important so your muscles can heal after a hard workout. If you are sleep deprived, it can prolong muscle or injury recovery time. This is comparable to how sleep increases recovery time from an illness. It’s crucial that you get the appropriate amount of sleep time, so you are less likely to have a shortened amount of time of muscle fatigue and you’ll be less likely to suffer from a physical injury.

8. Beauty Sleep…We all Need It

Staying up for long periods of time does indeed have an effect on your physical appearance. The most obvious being your eyes. They can feel more dry and irritated, and appear red and puffy. As you know sleep promotes tissue recovery. This includes healing from all kinds of skin issues like acne and other wounds. Chronic sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels and stress, which can cause acne, hair loss, as well as speed up the aging process leading to wrinkles and dry skin. Some of this damage from lack of sleep may even be irreversible.

IBC Wellness Team

To conclude, lack of sleep leads to many adverse health effects that can be harmful in the long run. Some of these can include: decreased alertness, low energy levels, decreased immune system, mental health effects, negative changes in your diet, hormone deregulation, longer tissue recovery, and poor physical appearance. Make sure to prioritize your sleep to maximize the sleep benefits.

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