How Improving Your Ability to Sleep Helps Your Overall Health

Sleep Helps Your Overall Health

We regard the pillars of excellent overall health being the right diet and both strength and aerobic exercise.  But perhaps we should add one more pillar, since without it you can consume a perfectly healthy diet and be as vigorous as a world-class athlete but yet encounter many medical issues.

Needless to say we’re referring to improving our ability to sleep. In fact is estimated that over 40 million Americans aren’t getting enough of it! And tests suggest that women who’re sleep-deficient comprise 2.5 times the amounts of inflammation as men, possibly since men are guarded with higher levels of testosterone.

Effects of sleep deprivation on your body and mind

  1. Encourage weight gain. Lack of sleep at night causes individuals to feel hungry, even if they have recently eaten.  It could possibly throw your whole system into an imbalanced place.
  2. Interferes with the production of melatonin.  This is produced during the night by the pineal gland which helps manage sleep at night.  If sleep becomes interrupted its lack of production can be harmful in other places, including inhibiting the expansion of cancerous cells.
  3. The immune system. Sleep is necessary to keep the production of immunities in our body at their optimum amounts.
  4. Affecting mental retention. Tests have shown conclusively that lack of sleep, even four or five hours in a single night may decrease problem solving and lead you to think significantly less clearly.

How much sleep do you actually need? [vid]

There are many good methods to battle sleep deprivation, and one we don’t recommend is sleeping pills.  They typically allow only uneven sleep and sometimes result in unwanted side effects of their own, including tiredness well later after the time you should be awake.

The brain literally starts eating itself when it doesn't get enough sleep

The reason we sleep goes far beyond simply replenishing our energy levels every 12 hours - our brains actually change states when we sleep to clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity left behind during the day.

Weirdly enough, the same process starts to occur in brains that are chronically sleep-deprived too - except it's kicked into hyperdrive. Researchers have found that persistently poor sleep causes the brain to clear a significant amount of neurons and synaptic connections, and recovering sleep might not be able to reverse the damage.

We've known that this process occurs when we sleep to clear away the neurological wear and tear of the day, but it appears that the same thing happens when we start to lose sleep. But rather than being a good thing, the brain goes overboard with the clearing, and starts to harm itself instead.

Think of it like the garbage being cleared out while you're asleep, versus someone coming into your house after several sleepless nights and indiscriminately tossing out your television, fridge, and family dog.

woman sleeping

4 natural alternatives to help you sleep

  1. Craft a regular time and place for going to sleep.  Each of us have an internal body clock, and if you have the capacity plan and the discipline to go to sleep at a similar point in time every evening, it is likely you will succumb to the routine.The place where you sleep needs to be favorable for sleeping: cool, quiet and dark.  Only a little bit of illumination can disrupt your internal clock.  The optimum temperature, research has shown, is ranging from 60-68 degrees.
  2. Exercise, but not just before you sleep.  Many studies have demonstrated at least 30 minutes of working out is going to improve your sleep that night.  However, you ought not exercise within three hours of going to bed.
  3. Watch your food consumption and drink before you go to bed.  Alcohol could make someone feel relaxed and even dreamy, but it is harmful for sleep.  Alcohol helps prevent one from dropping within the most essential stage of sleep, the deep stages of sound slumber.  Eating, especially certain foods like sugar or grains may well be challenging.  They can cause surges and drops with your blood glucose level, resulting in disturbed or no sleep.
  4. Turn off the gadgets.  Just before turning in for the night you need to maneuver yourself to a relaxed state, and it really is better done reading or just meditating and doing techniques for relaxation.  Exactly what you shouldn’t want would be to overstimulate the senses, which is what watching TV or playing computer games can do.

Why sleep is critical for the body and brain

You almost certainly can’t make a better time commitment than habitually getting a appropriate quantity of sleep.  Not only will you be with less threat for a lot of health problems, but that additional couple of hours committed to sleep each night will pay back in additional productiveness the next day.

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