best-sleep-habits
best-sleep-habits
best-sleep-habits

THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP FOR HEALTH + FITNESS

Feb 18, 2024

Fitness

Before you start working towards your fitness and/or health New Years Resolutions, don’t sleep on the importance of sleep. Do you often find yourself yawning while working, only to be too tired to workout once you clock out for the day?

In today’s era, we are occupied with too many tasks and deadlines (professional or personal) and forge to leave time to look after ourselves. According to the latest research, if a person cannot lose weight even after working out regularly and having a healthy diet, then the missing piece of the puzzle could be a lack of proper sleep.

Sleep is essential for an individual’s appropriate day-to-day functioning. We often make a list of what we think having a healthy lifestyle means — diet, workout, personal hygiene. and/or relationships, but we often neglect adequate sleep. 

In addition to enhancing daily productivity, the vital importance of sleep has several numerous other benefits, including:

  • Reduces Obesity
    Lack of sleep can contribute to obesity as it reduces metabolism. It also disrupts the levels of hormones in the body. Reduced sleeping hours cause a decrease in cortisol and ghrelin. These hormones are responsible for enhanced cravings and hunger pangs. A person is more tempted to eat junk food due to poor sleep and slow body metabolism.

  • Improves Concentration
    A well-rested mind performs better at solving problems and making decisions. Analytical reasoning also requires higher levels of concentration. A good night’s sleep can reduce mishaps and mistakes in the workplace. Example: Low concentration of drivers is often one of the major causes of road accidents.

  • Enhances Beauty
    Research results have shown there was a lack of glow or dullness on one’s face after a night of sleep troubles. Reduced sleep can result in dark circles and puffy eyebags. A person can appear frail, unhealthy and no amount of make-up or eye cream can freshen up a tired face.

  • Promotes Healthy Growth
    During the Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, the body releases essential hormones for healthy growth and development. Any worn-out and damaged tissues of the body are repaired during this phase. 

  • Strengthens Immune System 
    A study was conducted in which people were given nasal drops infected with a common cold virus to see who would get sick and who wouldn’t. The results showed that individuals who slept less than 7 hours a night were more prone to getting the common cold. Poor sleep is known to weaken the body’s immune system, therefore increasing the risk of catching diseases compared to the well-rested individuals.

  • Reduces Likelihood of Heart Diseases and Diabetes – Our bodies process glucose during proper sleep cycles. The lack of NREM sleep results in an increased likelihood of type-2 diabetes due to the development of insulin resistance. Insufficient sleep may also lead to atherosclerosis. which is the narrowing of arteries that can result in severe cardiovascular diseases later in life.

  • Enhances Athletic Strength – According to a study, an increased number of sports injuries occur in athletes who sleep less than seven hours per night. Sound sleep results in better coordination of muscles and quicker reflexes during strenuous activities.

It is recommended that an individual sleeps 7-9 hours every night, especially a person wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, both for the mind and the body!

‘Sleep is the golden chain that binds health and our bodies together.

– Thomas Dekker

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