Healthy and relaxing sleep is an important part of the human lifestyle. Besides maintaining the optimal health of humans, a healthy sleep pattern also ensures the general well-being of humans. Good sleep is considered as important as taking a healthy diet and regular exercise. But with the arrival of the industrial revolution and people committing themselves to their work so much so that forgetting to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ending up with distorted sleeping patterns. In modern times, people are choosing to ignore the importance of sleep and are sleeping much lesser than they did in the past. These distorted sleep patterns are also decreasing the sleep quality of humans in present times.
To underline the importance of sleep, here are some reasons why every human should prioritize his/her sleep –
Sleeping helps with concentration and productivity
Healthy functioning of the brain requires healthy sleeping patterns. For the brain to indulge in cognition, to concentrate, to perform better, and to be more productive a proper sleep is a necessity. Poor sleeping habits, disturbed sleeping hours, distorted sleeping schedule, and sleep deprivation takes a toll on the normal functioning of the brain and negatively impact the health of the brain.
There are several studies conducted in this field that states that short sleep can impact several aspects of brain functioning negatively to a level similar to alcohol intoxication. On the other hand, healthy sleeping patterns are found to improve the functioning of the brain and further leading to improved problem-solving skills. Good sleep is also found to enhance memory performance in both adults and children. This point highlights the importance of sleep for children and adults and why a healthy brain needs a healthy sleeping pattern.
Poor sleep is directly linked to weight gain
The poor sleeping pattern shares a strong connection with higher body weight. People who dedicate a good number of hours to their sleep and enjoy a healthy sleep tend to weigh less than those who sleep for a shorter duration. Further, sleep deprivation is often counted as one of the major risks of obesity. Several studies in this field highlight that sleep deprivation is directly associated with an increased risk of obesity in both adults and children.
The effect of sleep on weight gain is influenced by several factors including the person’s own motivation to indulge in physical exercising and hormones. For people who are on their journey to lose weight, getting good sleep is very important. This point highlights the importance of sleep for weight loss and for staying fit and fine.
Good sleep enhances our athletic performance
Good sleep plays an important role in maximizing the athletic performance of the person. Numerous studies and researches in this field support that in older people less sleeping hours leads to functional limitation and poor exercise performance. In similar studies conducted on basketball players, it has been found that longer sleeping hours bring a major improvement in accuracy, mental well-being, reaction time, and speed.
Studies conducted on women also found that poor sleeping habits lead to lower grip strength, slower walking, and also creates greater difficulty for them in performing independent activities. This point highlights the importance of sleep and rests for staying agile and active.
Sleeping patterns also influence glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity
Poor sleeping habits affect the blood sugar level in the body, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, and further decreases the insulin sensitivity of the body. In fact, lesser sleeping hours share a strong connection with disturbing health conditions and creates adverse effects on the blood sugar levels in humans.
In one study conducted to underline the importance of sleep and link sleep shares with diabetes risk, a group of healthy young men was restricted to sleep for mere 4 hours every night. They were asked to sleep for 4 hours every night for 6 nights in continuation. In the end, it was found that this poor sleeping schedule has resulted in causing symptoms of prediabetes in these men.
Later when these men were provided with adequate sleeping hours, the prediabetes symptoms were resolved. Several studies with similar objectives often conclude by stating that those sleeping for less than 6 hours every night are at a higher risk of developing symptoms of type 2 diabetes and thus it’s important for humans to take a healthy sleep of at least 6 hours.
Sleep is linked to immune functioning
Healthy sleeping patterns help in improving the immune functioning of the body. On the other hand, even a small interference with the normal sleeping pattern and loss of sleep has shown to negatively impact the immune functioning of the body.
Several studies are conducted to find out the relation sleep shares with the immune functioning of the body. In one such study, a group of people were infused with the common cold virus through nasal drops and then were monitored for two weeks. To find out how the immune system fights the common cold virus in these humans and further prevents the development of common cold in them, the sleeping patterns of these people were monitored closely. Later it was found that among this group those who slept for less than 7 hours were 3 times more likely to develop a common cold in comparison to those who slept for 8 hours and more.
So next time you catch a common cold, make sure you rest properly and dedicate at least 8 hours to sleep. This will help your immune system fight the common cold virus and prevent the development of the common cold. This point makes us realize the importance of sleep for health and the immune system.
Sleeping patterns can impact our social interaction abilities
Sleep can affect our social and emotional abilities. The poor sleeping schedule can decrease our abilities to interact socially and indulge in healthy communications. Several studies confirm that loss of sleep leads to diminished social abilities by making use of emotional facial recognition tests. Studies conducted in this field outlines that unhealthy sleeping habits take a toll on the human ability to process emotional information and recognize significant social cues. One such study conducted in this field found out that people who hadn’t slept had major difficulty in recognizing expressions of happiness and anger.
So while it’s important to stay at home safely in these times of Covid-19 pandemic and follow all the home safety tips, it’s also important to sleep properly to build the strength of our immune system and help our body stay healthy.