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5 Surprising Health Benefits Of A Good Night’s Rest

Health benefits of sleep

The benefits of a good night’s rest go beyond being feeling active the next day and boosting your mood and banishing dark-circles. In fact, sleep plays a vital role to maintain your overall health including your mental, physical, and sexual wellbeing.

Why Are You Not Sleeping Well At Night?

Here are a few everyday things that might prevent proper sleep because of which you might not be able to reap the health benefits of a good night’s rest.

-Not having a fixed sleep schedule. Make sure you respect your own sleep schedule and go to bed at the same time every day.

-Chatting with your friends close to bedtime or spending hours surfing the internet at night can give you sleepless nights. So make it a point to avoid the use of light-emitting devices such as phones and laptops before sleeping.

-Eating your meals late at night and snoozing off immediately right after your meals. Ideally, you must maintain a gap of at least 2 hours between your meals and bedtime. This is because, food is digested properly by the time you hit the sack, preventing digestive woes as you sleep.

-Indoor air pollution is also one of the key reasons for poor quality of sleep and spending sleepless nights in bed. Moreover, indoor air pollution can lead to numerous health problems such as respiratory conditions, allergies, heart disease, and even cancer. Hence, buying an air purifier can help fight indoor air pollution and help you stay healthy by ensuring you breathe cleaner air and promoting a good night’s sleep.

Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

Here are a few reasons why should eat your meals early, shut down your computer and phone, switch off the lights in your room and hit the sack for a good night’s rest.

1. Boosts immunity

Have you heard the popular wisdom ‘sleep helps healing’? This is because numerous studies have proved that sleep enhances immune defense. Not getting enough sleep can lead to illness because chronic sleep loss is not only associated with an increase in inflammatory markers but also with immunodeficiency.

According to a 2009 study[1], sleep quality is an important predictor of immunity as poor sleep efficiency was found to be associated with an increased susceptibility to the common cold. Another study revealed that the immune response to vaccination against influenza virus was diminished after 6 days of restricted sleep. Hence, it is important to get your daily dose of seven or more hours of sleep to improve your immunity and build resistance against common infections.

2. Prevents premature aging

Sleep is essential for the growth and renewal of multiple physiological systems including the skin. Chronic poor sleep can impact the human skin function and lead to visible signs of aging.

According to a 2015 study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, poor quality sleepers (those who sleep less than five hours) had low skin aging scores based on factors such as dry skin, redness of the skin, dark under eye circles, and poor physical appearance as compared to good quality sleepers (those with a sleep duration of 7-9 hours). Moreover, it also leads to diminished skin barrier meaning reduced protection against the UV rays, which in turn can up the risk of premature aging.

3. Helps lose weight

If you are planning to lose weight, then ensure you get a good night’s rest. This is because sleep plays a key role in your weight loss regimen by improving your metabolism. Moreover,  good quality sleep also helps you to perform physical activities effectively. Conversely, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain because you become tired and have less energy to carry out physical activities which makes you avoid exercising or cooking healthy meals after work.

In addition to this, sufficient sleep also reduces the levels of the hormone ‘ghrelin’, commonly known as the hunger hormone — as it signals hunger. When you are sleep deprived, the body tends to produce more ghrelin. Thus, you crave high-fat and calorie-dense foods, which further ups the risk of sabotaging your weight loss goals. A study published in the Journal Obesity Reviews[3] showed that sleeping better is found to be effective in reducing the levels of ghrelin and thus, helping you lose weight.

4. Lowers risk of injury

As surprising as it may sound, good quality sleep can prevent injuries and keep you safe. According to a 2017 study[4], common sleep problems, such as insufficient sleep quantity or abnormal daytime sleepiness, can significantly increase the risk of injury in juveniles. It revealed that juveniles with sleep problems are around 1.64 times at a higher risk of injury those without sleep problems.

Moreover, sleep deprivation has been linked to accidents[5]. This is because, when you are exhausted or tired, you are more likely to have an accident. Feeling sleepy when driving is responsible for 5% to 30% of road accidents in America.

5. Improves sex life

Insufficient or poor quality sleep has been associated with neurocognitive impairments such as poor memory and concentration, chronic health problems such as hypertension and heart disease, and even increased mortality. But did you know that a good night’s sleep can promote a better sex life? According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, it was revealed that around 26% of people in America experienced poor sex lives due to lack of sleep.

Studies[6] have proved that poor sleep quality has been related to sexual difficulties. Poor sleep quality was linked to increased sexual dissatisfaction in women. Sleep loss reduces testosterone levels in males and low concentrations of the hormone are associated with sexual dysfunction[7].

This article is sponsored by Honeywell Air Purifiers.

References:

1. Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB. Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jan 12;169(1):62-7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19139325/

2. Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Jan;40(1):17-22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25266053

3. Adams CE, Greenway FL, Brantley PJ. Lifestyle factors and ghrelin: critical review and implications for weight loss maintenance. Obes Rev. 2011 May;12(5):e211-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20604869

4. Wang YB, Guo ZL, Zhang F, Zhang Y, Wang SS, Zhao Y. Sleep problems and injury risk among juveniles: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 29;7(1):9813. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575330/

5. Philip P, Sagaspe P. [Sleep and accidents]. Bull Acad Natl Med. 2011 Oct;195(7):1635-43; discussion 1643. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28852082/

6. Costa R, Costa D, Pestana J. Subjective sleep quality, unstimulated sexual arousal, and sexual frequency. Sleep Sci. 2017 Oct-Dec;10(4):147-153. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5760048/

7. Andersen ML, Alvarenga TF, Mazaro-Costa R, Hachul HC, Tufik S. The association of testosterone, sleep, and sexual function in men and women. Brain Res. 2011 Oct 6;1416:80-104. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21890115

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