Why You Should Sleep More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already labeled chronic sleep deprivation a public health issue, and recently they’ve reported that people with illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, depression, and other chronic diseases are even more likely to have sleep disorders. We know it’s tough to get more sleep — one more drink at the bar, one more episode of Game of Thrones, and writing one more email seem important at the time. But there are countless reasons to hit the sack earlier and for at least seven hours per night. Here are a few …
Sleep Improves Immune System
During sleep compounds called cytokines get released in the body. Research indicates that certain cytokines help against inflammation and infection, in addition to improving the immune system overall. If you do not get the sleep your body needs, it decreases the number of cytokines and ups the odds you’ll get sick.
Get More Deep Sleep and REM Sleep
Each stage of sleep has certain benefits. Deep sleep is one of the most important, though. This is the time your body uses to repair itself and accumulate energy for the next day. It’s also the time you get mood-boosting REM sleep. One way to make sure you get enough REM sleep is steering clear of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. You should also do your best to improve the sleeping environment which means reducing noise or light in the bedroom. To add to your hours of REM sleep, you might also want to try sleeping an extra 30 minutes to 1 hour in the morning (REM sleep stages are longer in morning).
Sleep Decreases the Chances of Heart Disease
Sleep quality and duration are a major influence on the condition of the body and the heart especially. As a result, the lack of sleep involves many risk factors, which drive chronic diseases, and that denotes heart disease. Several studies found that short sleepers have a far greater risk of getting heart disease or stroke, as opposed to those who sleep 7 to 8 hours every night.
Signs That You Need More Sleep
If you get less than 8 hours of sleep each night, chances are your body and mind are sleep deprived. The worst thing is that your body has possibly got accustomed to the lack of sleep, so you might not even know that you’re lacking sleep. There’s a strong possibility you are sleep deprived if you notice one of the following signs:
Sign 1: You can’t wake on time without an alarm clock
Sign 2: You always use the snooze button
Sign 3: You feel it’s really tough to get up in the morning
Sign 4: You feel drowsy in the afternoon
Sign 5: You feel sleepy at meetings or in warm rooms
Sign 6: You feel sleepy after a heavy meal
Sign 7: You feel sleepy when driving
Sign 8: You feel crave afternoon naps
Sign 9: You fall asleep when watching TV
Sign 10: You want to sleep in during weekends
Sign 11: You fall asleep five minutes after going to bed
How to Get More Sleep
Step 1: Make sure that your lack of sleep is not caused by a medical issue. Sleep disturbance may occur as a symptom of a physical or mental health problems.
Step 2: Improving sleeping conditions is vital. Remember, lights off, pull the blinds down, and make sure it’s dark, quiet and cooler, rather than warmer.
Step 3: Caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods are known sleep disruptors, so avoid heavy meals and too much drinking too close to bedtime.
Step 4: Exercise regularly. Try at least 30 minutes on most days, albeit make sure it’s not too close to bedtime.
Step 5: Work on reducing stress. Stress management techniques can help. While you’re at it, try leaving your worries for next day, because worrying also impedes sleep quality.
Step 6: Have a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning (this denotes weekends as well).