5 Reasons to Get More Sleep
Everyone knows that sleep is important, but some people believe this importance solely relates to factors like energy levels and alertness. While these are key factors to consider, they aren’t the only essential bodily functions that sleep has a tremendous impact on. Multiple studies have shown that millions of people across the UK don’t get enough high-quality sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to serious health issues and cause problems in a person’s professional and personal life. This is why many people who struggle with sleep turn to sleep aids, such as CBD. Understanding the effects that sleep has on the body can help motivate people to follow a healthy sleep schedule.
1. Improves mental health
A consistent lack of sleep, poor sleep quality, and sleep disorders all have strong connections to numerous mental health issues. For example, people with conditions like anxiety and depression are more likely to struggle with their sleep. Additionally, those with diagnosed sleep disorders (like sleep apnea) typically have higher depression rates than people without sleep disorders.
Poor mental health can have a detrimental impact on all areas of a person's life, from professional to personal endeavours. Getting proper sleep doesn’t eliminate the risk of developing mental health issues, but it can help reduce it. The same logic applies to finding effective treatment options for sleep disorders.
2. Increases the body’s ability to ward off disease
Getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night (as an adult) can help reduce the risk of developing multiple serious health conditions and diseases.
Heart disease, the leading cause of death globally, is more likely to develop in people who don’t get enough sleep. Some studies even suggest that this risk increases with each missed hour of sleep for those who get less than seven hours per night. It can also lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure.
However, this isn’t to say that the more sleep a person gets, the less likely they are to develop heart disease and high blood pressure. In fact, risk factors may begin to increase again with excessive sleep, which typically refers to more than nine hours per night. The key is to get consistent, high-quality sleep for seven to nine hours each night.
Type 2 diabetes
In addition to heart problems, lack of sleep has also been linked to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies have shown that getting less than five hours of sleep per night can increase the risk of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis by over 40%. This is thought to be due to the fact that sleep deprivation can cause physiological and behavioural changes that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. These changes may include increased food consumption, weakened insulin sensitivity, and higher levels of inflammation, among various others. As with heart disease, getting between seven and nine hours of high-quality sleep per night is a great way to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
3. Improves cognitive function
In order for a person to perform their best, no matter what field of work or study they’re in, getting enough sleep is vital. Being productive and concentrating on tasks can become much more difficult for people who suffer from sleep deprivation. People are also more likely to make errors, including significant ones, if they lack sleep consistently. Getting enough sleep can help improve problem-solving abilities and can even contribute to better memory.
These factors apply to both children and adults, as sharp cognitive abilities are important at all ages. The most beneficial amount of sleep for children can vary as the recommended amount typically decreases as the child ages and develops. However, for adults, sticking to the seven to nine hour rule is the most beneficial approach.
4. Improves social skills and emotional intelligence
The ability to interact socially and display adequate levels of emotional intelligence while doing so is an important part of most people’s daily lives. Sleep plays a large and crucial role in this ability. This can apply to any social interaction, from conversing with a work colleague about a project to talking to a romantic partner about dinner plans. Being able to read the emotions of others while controlling emotional impulses and outbursts is key to achieving positive social interactions.
Studies show that sleep deprivation has a significant negative effect on emotional intelligence and the ability to socialise. Due to this, sleep deprived people may isolate themselves and choose not to socialise, rather than digging into the root of the issue. This can then lead to loneliness. Getting more sleep may help improve people’s relationships in both personal and professional settings.
5. Helps reduce inflammation levels in the body
Ensuring that sleep is high quality is as important as its duration. This is especially true when considering factors like inflammation. When sleep is disturbed, the body can activate inflammatory signalling pathways. This can then result in increased levels of inflammation throughout the body.
When inflammation is left untreated, it can become chronic. If this happens, people end up at higher risk of developing serious long-term conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions (and the various others associated with chronic inflammation) have life-altering effects and can therefore become very challenging to live with. In some cases, they can even be fatal. As with mental health conditions, getting more sleep won’t entirely eliminate the risk of chronic inflammation occurring, but it can help reduce it.
Here are the key points to remember about consistently getting enough high-quality sleep:
- Sleep is important for more than just energy levels.
- Some people use sleep aids to help them get enough sleep each night, such as CBD.
- Getting around seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep per night is ideal for overall health and wellbeing.
- Getting high-quality sleep is as important as its duration.
- Consistently getting enough high-quality sleep can help reduce the risk of developing mental health issues.
- Sleep helps the body ward off illness, including serious diagnoses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Concentration, performance, productivity, attention to detail, memory, and problem-solving abilities all improve when a person consistently gets enough high-quality sleep.
- Relationships in both professional and personal environments may improve with more sleep as it helps boost emotional intelligence and socialisation skills.
- A reduction of overall inflammation in the body can help reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions, and high-quality undisturbed sleep significantly contributes to this.