6 ways sleep affects your physical health
There is nothing better than a good night’s sleep. there are ways sleep affects your physical health. A restful night can leave you feeling revitalized and ready for the day ahead, whilst poor sleep can result in a low mood and poor health. Here are six surprising ways sleep can affect your physical health.
1) Brain boost
Studies have shown that a good night’s sleep helps boost your productivity and concentration levels. This means being well-rested will allow you to perform better at work or school, for example; allowing you to more easily process information and retain focus for longer.
2) A rise in energy levels
We often don’t give ourselves time to relax, but a good night’s sleep is vital in giving you that much-needed energy boost. If you sleep for the recommended 6-8 hours a night, you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go (without having to snooze that alarm). You can read more about recommended sleep times here.
Feeling energised will allow you to make the most out of your day, and sleeping well can increase your athletic abilities. Exercise increases serotonin and alters cortisol levels in the brain – reducing stress. The less stress, the better sleep!
3) Better mood
Grouchiness and irritability are often signs that somebody has not been getting enough sleep. Studies show that adults who have healthier sleeping patterns tend to report better moods overall. Waking up feeling refreshed and energised can have a huge impact on your mood for the rest of the day.
If you struggle to fall asleep, there are numerous things you can do to combat this. You could do a bit of yoga before bed, for example, to help relax your mind and prepare it for sleep. Over 20 million people practice yoga a day – why not join them?
4) Healthier heart
High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke or heart disease. As sleep reduces your blood pressure, it can have a positive effect on your heart’s health. Giving your body time to rest is vital in keeping it happy and healthy. It is said that healing happens during sleep and giving your heart a rest because of a slower heat rate at rest, is a good start at keeping a healthy heart.
5) Weight management
Those who suffer from poor sleep, on average, tend to feel hungrier than a well-rested person. Poor sleep creates hormonal imbalances that leave you feeling hungrier and lethargic, meaning that you are more likely to choose fast food over something you have to cook yourself. In many cases, this means that poor sleep can lead to weight gain. And the really bad part is the more you weigh, the more tired you get and the more you eat. It becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to stop.
6) Boost your immune system
Sleep deprivation can suppress the functioning of your immune system. Studies have proven that those who get at least 7 hours of sleep a night are less likely to get sick and are often able to fight off illnesses such as the common cold quicker than those who suffer from sleep deprivation or insomnia.
While there are many more, these are six major ways sleep affects your physical health. In short, sleep is vital in ensuring that your physical health remains at its best. Not only does it boost your mood and productivity, but it also has a range of positive effects on your physical health. We spend around a third of our lives asleep – so we need to make sure we’re doing it right.