Sleep and Its Importance to Healthy Living

Sleep and Its Importance to Healthy Living

March 29, 2020 0 By Anthony Ekanem

Sleep is defined as a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings.  Sleep is more reversible than coma or hibernation, yet responds less to any kind of stimulus than silent wakefulness. The importance of sleep cannot be over-emphasised, as it is the rest cycle of the body. Doctors say this cycle is a heightened anabolic state – a certain period when the body produces new nervous and muscular tissue and bone. To put it simply, this is a period when the body grows and being repaired. Sleep is triggered by a group of hormones in the body. These hormones react to cues within the body and in the environment.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, everybody needs to get the right amount of sleep because this is how the body recuperates all the energy it lost after a tiring day. Well, this is a no-brainer, so you don’t need an expert to tell you how important sleep is. Some of the common signs of lack of sleep are incapability to multitask, disinhibition, slowed speech, impaired memory, moodiness and irritability.

Disinhibition pertains to poor risk evaluation and lack of self-control. It commonly results in a reduced ability in managing or editing their response to a certain situation. The amount of sleep humans need greatly varies with every person, yet on average, an adult must have eight sleeping hours. Some people have the ability to do well in school or at work with only 6 hours of sleep, while others require 10 hours of sleep.

How Lack of Sleep Affects the Body

Scientists who conducted a study on sleep disorders found out that sleep deprivation can have an adverse effect on the following:

  • Metabolic Functions: The processes required for a living organism’s maintenance.
  • The Immune System: This system is a defence mechanism that is made up of a large network of organs, tissues, and cells working together to give the body shield from any infectious organisms like toxins, parasites, viruses, microbes and bacteria.
  • Cardiovascular System: This system comprises capillaries, blood and heart vessels, veins and arteries. It transports gases, metabolic wastes, hormones and foods to and from the cells.
  • Nervous System: The brain, an integral part of the nervous system, controls everything concerning the body such as fundamental functions, sensations, emotions, thoughts and actions.

There are many reasons why people need to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, it is not just designed for the physical health, but for the mental, social, emotional and spiritual health as well.

By simply having a good quality sleep every night, the quality of your life will also improve. However, this will only be possible if you will fix your lifestyle and eat a balanced diet. In other words, the quality of sleep you will get will depend on the everyday choices you make and on how you live your life.

Watch What You Drink

Have you ever noticed that you feel energized or sleepy after drinking certain things? Well, that is simply because the drinks you consume can affect the quality of your sleep. Just like other human beings, you have the right to sleep soundly at night. So, read the succeeding paragraphs to know the worst drinks that will rob you of a good night’s sleep.

  1. Coffee.  You surely know for a fact that the main ingredient in coffee is caffeine. This is popularly known as the most common drug in the world because it is a stimulant which works by increasing the body’s energy levels. Research shows that coffee drinkers suffer from a wide range of sleep disorders such as apnea, insomnia and narcolepsy. If you can’t resist drinking coffee, maybe now is the right time for you to give it up. Yes, it can make you energetic the whole day, but it can make you feel restless the moment you go to bed. If you don’t want to be a living zombie, say goodbye to coffee now!
  2. Alcohol: It is believed that drinking alcohol before going to bed will make you feel relaxed and easier to enter dreamland. This may be true to others, but studies show that this beverage can disrupt sleep and increase your tendency to snore. According to London Sleep Centre scientists, it acts as a sedative but can disrupt the body’s sleeping pattern. Those who sleep under the influence of alcohol will feel like they have been in a deep sleep, but they have actually been deprived of rapid eye movement sleep. What is alarming nowadays is that so many people have become dependent on alcohol in order to sleep. Experts claim that this is very dangerous to the body because it can lead to addiction and worse, insomnia.

The Importance of Exercise

One of the most common sleep disorders that are experienced by millions of people around the world is insomnia. This is defined as the incapability to sleep, not depending upon the number of your sleeping hours, but on your sleep’s quality and how you feel the moment you wake up in the morning.

Thus, even if you were able to sleep eight hours during the night, but feel tired when you wake up, that means you have insomnia. People suffering from this pesky sleeping disorder usually resort to medication, as it is convenient and offers quick results. However, the major drawback of medicines is that they can be very addictive.

Good thing, there are some healthy alternatives that can help you to be free from insomnia without spending a fortune and exposing your body to risks and side effects.

Watch What You Eat

Sleeping and eating have more in common than their shared standing as fundamental biological functions. The quality of your sleep has a great impact on your eating pattern; eating certain foods can have a great impact on the quality and time of your sleep patterns. See the relationship? Therefore, eating a balanced and healthy diet can enhance your sleep, and vice versa.

Wind Down Before You Sleep

One of the things that people can hardly escape from, is stress. In order for your body to be recharged for the next day’s challenges, you have to de-stress and get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping is an important function in keeping the body strong and up for anything. To be specific, it is responsible for cellular repair, muscular repair, energy, memory and concentration.

Constant sleep deprivation increases the body’s risk for having infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other diseases. With the different distractions in life, having good quality sleep every night can be a difficult one for some people. Therefore, it is important to wind down.

Make Your Room Sleep-Friendly

There are several factors that can greatly affect your sleep cycle and quality; one of which is your bedroom. This is the reason why you need to make it the most comfortable and beautiful place in your home. By making your bedroom sleep-friendly, you will always have a deep slumber every night or each time you take a nap.