We’ve been told how important it is to sleep for at least 7-8 hours daily in every health and lifestyle material we read and see. It seems easy, but with the fast-paced world people live in, it’s not as simple as it appears. Basically, getting sufficient sleep doesn’t just provide your body its much needed rest. It does so much more than that.
Therefore, sleep is a vital function that your body requires for a lot reasons. When you sleep, your brain signals your body to release hormones and compounds that aid in reducing risk for medical problems, cope with your hunger levels, sustain your immunity, and preserve memory.
The bad news is that once sleep is lost, you can’t make up for it. That’s why it is crucial that you try your best to get 7-8 hours daily. Sleeping more than that won’t help, either. In fact, it’ll make it worse. Science also shows that excessive sleeping is nowhere near the neighborhood of healthy.
Here are the ways sufficient sleep, not less and not more, can help improve your health and overall quality of life:
7-8 hours help in improving your longevity
For the average adult, the normal quantity of sleep is 7-8 hours every night. Surely, you’ve known this already. But this isn’t something that your parents or your spouse just tell you. It’s a scientific fact, which means that doing otherwise can bring health repercussions that will truly be unpleasant.
Notably, a research in the UK also showed that people who slept for less than six hours every night were 12% more likely to encounter a premature death. On the other hand, those who slept more than 8-9 hours every night were even found to be facing a greater risk at 30%. It was also found in the same study that those individuals, who cut down their sleep from 7 to 5 hours or less, experienced 1.7 times the possibility of death from all causes.
Sufficient sleep aids the immune system
Your immune system secretes compounds called cytokines when you sleep. Some of these compounds have a shielding effect on the immune system by aiding in fighting off infections and inflammation. The logic here is that with less sleep, your body may not produce adequate cytokines to keep you from being ill. A research in 2013 found that sleep deprivation heightens the quantity of inflammatory substances in the body.
Good sleep improves your memory and cognitive functions
This surely makes sense since being sleep deprived has apparent negative effects on your mental functions. Everyone feels all dazed and confused the morning after being deprived. Your brain becomes foggy, concentrating on your tasks feels impossible, and your ability to make decisions becomes impaired. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, so you can undertake all stages of sleep.
Memory and learning can’t be facilitated if you’re just able to experience a single sleep stage. Two sleep stages, which are the rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep, can help to promote creativity, procedural and long-term recall, and efficient processing of memory.
Adequate sleep controls your appetite
Technically, your need for calories at night is decreased. But if you’re sleep deprived, it heightens your body’s requirements for energy. Your brain will then secrete chemicals to tell your body it’s hungry. Surely, you can imagine the result if this keeps on happening every night. You’ll eat more even late at night and work out less, leading to weight gain.