Friday, May 25, 2018


Sleep Your Way To Better Health: Why Catching Z’s Is So Important.

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comMost of us know that we need sleep, but do you really understand the importance of getting enough rest on a daily basis? We are all aware of the warm fuzzy feeling a good night’s sleep gives us, but have you ever thought about how sleep impacts your health and wellbeing? If you’re looking for ways to improve your health in 2018, there are very few goals that will serve you better than trying to get more sleep. Here are some of the top reasons why catching Zs is so important.

Reduced risk of illness

Sleeping for eight hours every night won’t make you immune from every infection or illness on the planet, but studies show that sleep quality is linked to general health. Research suggests that people who sleep well on a regular basis are less likely to develop conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes than those who struggle to get enough sleep. One study, which evaluated the impact of shift work, suggested that a lack of sleep had a negative impact on blood glucose levels, increasing the risk of diabetes. Although in most cases, elevated risk of disease is linked to long-term sleep problems, this is not always the case, and researchers involved in the study noticed changes in blood sugar levels after just four days. While changing your sleep habits may not prevent poor health, it could help to reduce the risk of complications.

There is also evidence to suggest that good quality sleep can boost immunity. Researchers from the UK and Holland discovered that a lack of sleep has a similar impact on the immune system to stress.

Improved mental health

Missing out on sleep doesn’t just put you at risk of physical health problems. A lack of sleep can also elevate the risk of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, and exacerbate symptoms of stress. When you’re tired, you may find that you’re snappy and irritable and this can affect your relationships, your ability to get on at work and the way you feel. When you’ve had a good night’s sleep, you’re likely to feel happier, brighter and more content. A study conducted by researchers from a group of UK universities revealed that therapies designed to aid sleep were also effective in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with hallucinations and psychotic episodes.  

Stress is often a contributing factor to sleep troubles, and it is easy to caught in a cycle where you can’t sleep because you’re stressed and you then become even more stressed because you’re tired. If this scenario sounds familiar, it’s important to try and manage stress effectively. It’s worth trying remedies and therapies such as exercise, meditation, massage and creative activities, but bear in mind that there is help and support available if you need more intensive treatment. If you need more advice about managing mild stress, this page may prove useful https://psychcentral.com/lib/20-tips-to-tame-your-stress/.

Increased energy levels

Your body goes through a lot over the course of a 24-hour period. You may not think that your body does a lot of work, especially if you have a fairly sedentary lifestyle, but consider how many processes are taking place at any given time. The truth is that your body works constantly, and it needs sleep to recover. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re likely to find that you lack energy the next day. You may struggle to get out of bed, and just a few hours after you’ve taken that step, you might feel like you’re craving rest again. Your sleep patterns have a significant impact on your energy levels, and this can affect the way you live your life. If you’re tired all the time, you may not want to socialize, you might lose interest in hobbies, and you may struggle to put in maximum effort at work.

If you do have trouble sleeping and it’s not linked to stress, consider other possible causes. Your sleeping environment and your bedtime routine can play a role. If you can’t get comfortable, it’s noisy outside or your room is too light, there are simple solutions. Take a look at https://www.mattress-guides.net and read some mattress reviews, invest in blackout blinds and use earplugs to prevent external noise from keeping you awake. If your bedroom is lovely and tranquil and your bed is your favorite place in the world, have a good look at your evening routine. What time do you go to bed? How many hours of sleep are you getting? How do you spend your time in the evenings? If you go to sleep at 8pm one night and 2am the next, your body clock is going to be all over the place, and this could be a reason why you find it hard to sleep. Get into a habit of going to bed at the same time every day and use your evenings to unwind, relax and get yourself geared up for sleep.

Weight control

You may assume that the only factors that influence your body weight are your diet and activity levels. However, sleep can also impact your ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy, stable weight. A lack of sleep may make you less motivated when it comes to going for that run or making a healthy meal from scratch, but it can also affect your hormones. If you don’t get enough sleep, the level of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, decreases. If you’re trying to lose weight, work on your sleep patterns as well as your diet and your training regime.

Many of us would like to be healthier. There are lots of steps you can take to improve your health, but there are few things that will have a more positive impact than getting more sleep. If you struggle with insomnia, hopefully, this guide will help you to pinpoint possible causes, find solutions and start enjoying the many health benefits of catching Zs.

Staff Writer; Ronald Ross


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