We’ve heard it all before - a good night’s sleep is imperative to overall health and wellness. But, it also tends to be the first thing to go when our lives become busy and stressful. Although it may seem like skipping those Z’s is the easiest way to get your life back on track, this can lead to further stress and less productivity. Plus, sleep is just as important to your well-being as healthy eating and hitting the gym, so read on to learn exactly how you can reach better health through better sleep!
Better Health Through Sleep
Starting at the very top of your body, sleep is incredibly important for brain function! Everything from cognition to concentration, productivity, and performance is negatively impacted by lack of sleep. Why? Throughout your busy day, your brain is one of the parts of your body that is constantly at work. Without the time to recuperate during sleep, neurons become overworked, making continued function difficult. On the other hand, a good night of sleep has been shown to help with tasks such as problem-solving and can aid in memory enhancement. If you’re looking to boost brain health, schedule in seven to eight hours of sleep - especially after a long day of learning!
Your immune system will thank you for a full night of sleep as well. This is because, while you are sleeping, the body is hard at work. The immune system specifically releases cytokines which are known to fight infection and inflammation. When the body has been deprived of the proper amount of sleep, it does not have time to take reparative measures. Cytokines and other antibodies used to fight infection are not released as they should be, meaning that missing out on sleep could mean a higher risk of getting sick.
Rest is also important in reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. While you’re asleep, your blood pressure has the opportunity to go down throughout your period of rest. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, your blood pressure stays higher for longer throughout a full day. It may seem trivial day by day, but getting more sleep can help significantly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke as a result of high blood pressure.
How to Get Better Sleep
At this point, we all know we need better sleep, and we know why it’s so important. But that doesn’t make getting a solid eight hours any easier. For some, sleep comes more easily than others. If just scheduling the time for it in the day is not enough, here are some additional tips to make sure you’re giving your body the rest it deserves.