The Importance of Sleep

Sleep has an essential role in our life for physical and mental health, yet many people struggle to get enough of it.   Insufficient sleep is a medical problem which is known as insomnia or sleeplessness.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, acute insomnia is brief and often happens because of life circumstances (like the night before you have a big test) whereas Chronic insomnia is disrupted sleep that occurs at least three nights per week and lasts at least three months.   Acute insomnia usually goes away on its own while chronic insomnia may require treatment.

Why Sleep Is Important

Sleep plays a critical role in all bodily functions, such as protection from physical and mental stress.  It also promotes healing and repairing of cardiac blood vessels. According to a recent study published in the journal of psychology, those individuals sleeping less than 5 hours (the recommended amount is 7-9 hours for most adults) are at risk of developing sleeping disorders. A proper amount of sleep is crucial for maintaining your active lifestyle; poor sleep can lead to various health complications. Read the following list for some of the health advantages of sleep on your body and mind.

  • Sleep reduces anxiety and stress

Sleep plays a vital role in reducing anxiety and stress. Various research studies have reported that sleep is one of the best and most effective way to minimize the symptoms of anxiety and stress. Sleep provides improved mental stability and relaxation since you will feel more rested, energized and ready to take on everyday challenges.

  • Sleep improves focus and productivity

Sleep provides psychological and physical rest which gives you more mental energy for improved focus and productivity. Research studies have revealed that quality sleep is vital for promoting concentration at work and school. 

  • Seep boosts immune functions

Sleep has a close association with the immune system.  According to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that individuals who don’t get enough sleep (or quality sleep all night) are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Conversely, a lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

  • Sleep Improves memory

Sleep is also associated with improved cognitive functions and boosting memory. According to a recent study, after two different groups were studied, the group with proper sleep showed a significant improvement in recollection of short and long term events.

  • Sleep promotes weight loss

The amount of sleep you get directly affects your diet. People who are sleep deprived tend to weigh more and have more trouble losing weight than those who get adequate rest, even when they follow the same diet. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body over produces the hunger causing hormone grehlin, causing you to feel hungrier during the day.

Getting enough sleep or quality sleep is very important as part of your overall physical and mental health plan.  A lack of sleep can increase your appetite, decrease your energy levels and cause other adverse conditions, sabotaging your quest for improved health and wellness.  If your condition is ongoing then it is chronic and you may want to speak with your healthcare professional.

Thanks for reading!

Contributor: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness. Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training and corporate wellness solutions.  Visit  www.milehighfitness.com or email inquiries@milehighfitness.com

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