A little reminder from our Guest about sleep:
True silence is the rest of the mind and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. William Penn
Remember when your mother harped on you to get more sleep? It turns out she was right. There are many good reasons to get plenty of sleep and to avoid shorting yourself in the hours you need. Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at what the CDC (Center for Disease Control) says is recommended for optimal health.
Newborns up to three months: 14–17 hours
Infants four to 12 months: 12–16 hours
Toddlers one to three years: 11–14 hours
Preschoolers three to five years: 10–13 hours
School-age children six to 12 years: 9–12 hours
Teens 13 to 18 years: 8–10 hours
Adults 18 to 60 years: 7-plus hours
Adults 61 to 64 years: 7–9 hours
Adults 65 and older: 7–8 hours
Now I’m not telling you to set the alarm, because everyone’s biological clock is slightly different. But if you are coming in short of the advised hours, you should try and stay in bed and get some quality sleep as long as you can. Good sleep can be improved by sleeping in a dark room. Use blackout shades if you must, or even consider a sleep mask if your room is too bright.
Having a comfortable bed is another big factor in getting enough sleep. The more you toss and turn, the less time your body will have to get into REM sleep, which you need to relax and calm your body.
Reason One – Lower The Possibility of Weight Gain
Strangely enough, working more, or at least sleeping less, tends to lead to weight gain. Poor sleep patterns and stress have been shown to have a profound effect on the body. In a recent study at the University of Colorado, participants restricted to a five-hour nightly sleep pattern gained an average of two pounds in just one week.
Part of that can be attributed to hormonal changes, including the regulation of leptin, which sleep deprivation reduces. And the hormone ghrelin, which sleep-deprivation activates. Ghrelin triggers the feeling of being hungry. See where I’m going with this?
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can’t regulate your food intake correctly. It’s not that you’re that hungry; it’s just that your body is confused.
Reason Two – Improve Concentration and Performance
Study’s show that a child’s sleep patterns impact their academic performance and behavior. The less sleep they get, the more likely they are to fall behind in school. Studies on adults point to similar effects on work performance.
If you need more convincing, according to surveys in 2018 and 2019, a lack of sleep had a direct effect on sexual desire in both men and women. Twenty percent of women said they were too tired at night for sex, and medical studies show that a man’s testosterone level can fall by up to 20 percent at night after a lack of sleep during the prior week.
Sleeplessness has an impact on the brain’s frontal lobe, which maintains complex judgment calls. Study’s have found that after even a single sleepless night, men overestimated women’s interest in sex. You’ve been warned.
Reason Three – Improved Immune System
Research shows that there is a direct correlation between good sleep and the body’s ability to repair itself. The immune system fights off colds and viruses and is stronger when it has a chance to rejuvenate itself.
Getting adequate sleep helps reduce inflammation in the body and protects us all from its effects. Unfortunately, studies have now shown that sleep deprivation contributes to diseases, and in turn, many of those diseases contribute to sleep deprivation. It’s a vicious circle. Beat the bugs by getting enough sleep!
Reason Four – Greater Emotional Intelligence
Ever stay up late for nights on end trying to get ready for a test or business presentation? Did it help? Often, the lack of sleep hurts your test scores. And, it can put a crimp in your work performance too.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel cranky and be less able to understand other people and empathize with them. Which impacts how you view people, and also how you interpret their reaction to whatever you might be presenting to them at work.
When you are tired, you miss the emotional signs that help you make good decisions. How might that impact a personal relationship? Yes, not well.
Reason Five – Preventing Depression
Our sleep patterns greatly impact our overall mental health. Studies in the US and New Zealand show that there is a likely link between a lack of sleep and depression. Unfortunately, studies also show that a lack of sleep is also a contributing factor in a significant number of deaths by suicide.
Sleep is a vital part of life. It can make us happier, more energetic and athletic, and give us sharper focus for mental tasks. It can even make us look better.
When we are tired, we look a bit off. When rested, we look and feel better. And there’s proof! Sleep deprivation can interfere with collagen production, which we all need to maintain healthy skin and look better. A lack of collagen production can weaken our skin, making it taught and rigid. You can help keep it supple and youthful with adequate sleep. Your read it here first!