In today’s fast-paced world, we often push ourselves beyond the limits of our health to achieve goals, with our sleep being the thing we sacrifice most often.
A good night’s sleep is incredibly important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, the Western environment is interfering with natural sleep patterns. People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
Here are 3 reasons why good sleep is important.
1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain. People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. In one extensive review study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively. The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise. If you’re trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial. Short sleep duration is associated with a drastically increased risk of weight gain and obesity, in both children and adults.
2. Good Sleep Can Improve Concentration and Productivity
Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance. All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation.
A study on medical interns provides a good example. Interns on a traditional schedule with extended work hours of more than 24 hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep. Another study found that short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication. On the other hand, good sleep has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and enhance memory performance of both children and adults.
3. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke.
It’s known that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors. These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease. A review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7– 8 hours per night.