Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Importance of Sleep for both Mental and Physical Health

We spend, on average, one third of our lives sleeping. Given the fact we spend so much time doing it, we should recognize the importance it holds in our lives. Sleep is an integral component of our mental and physical health.  Learning to sleep well will produce benefits in these realms of our lives.

Physical Effects

The average person should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep each day. A lack of sleep can suppress the amount of growth hormone released from the brain, which is essential for building and maintaining tissue in the body. Optimal physical growth and maintenance can never be achieved without a healthy amount of sleep. Also during sleep, heart and blood vessels are repaired. Sleep deprivation can therefore be connected to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many more serious physical issues.

Mental Effects

Sleep deprivation affects mental health as much as physical health. It reduces the awareness and functional capacity of humans, which can cause many dangers to not only one’s self but to others. It affects clarity of thought, memory, and general functionality throughout the day. Sleep deprivation also contributes to a lack of emotional regulation.

Tips to help you sleep better:

  • There are many potential factors that can prevent a good night’s sleep, but high stress is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation. One way to combat this stress is exercise. Exercise also promotes sleep by increasing adenosine production.
  • Another way to combat stress is creating a relaxing nightly routine. Some people benefit from stretching or reading a book before bed to help their mind and body relax.
  • Try to keep away from blight light sources, such as laptops, for at least two hours before sleeping. Blue light disrupts the production of melatonin, which is the chemical responsible for making you feel sleepy.
  • There are many apps today that allow you to monitor your sleep and track sleep cycles. They also give more information on individual sleep patterns and needs. Applications can help remind you to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning in order to properly complete REM sleep cycles.
  • Prioritizing sleep in addition to other healthy habits will ensure you recover well from your work outs, and feel positive and energized!

Blog post by David Reme.

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