The importance of sleep to people is self-evident. Good sleep helps maintain normal physiological functions, restore energy, and maintain health.
The Importance of Sleep
Nobody can live without sleep. Good sleep quality plays a vital role in human health. If you suffer from long-term insomnia or poor sleep quality, you will not only age quickly, but also easily induce sudden death.
In the short term, lack of sleep directly affects the work and study the next day. People are easily fatigued, lethargic, and emotionally unstable.
In the long run, sleep deprivation is even more harmful. Obesity, accelerated aging, and forgetfulness are all common symptoms of insomnia.
The most serious harm caused by insomnia is the occurrence of other diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and so on.
How much sleep do you need to feel well-rested?
Age is related to the length of sleep time. People of different ages have different sleep time. Generally, the younger you are, the longer the sleep time and the higher frequency you should have.
We have given the optimal sleep time for each age group. Come and find out what your own best bedtime is!
The following table is from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.【1】
What are the health benefits of good sleep?
1. Maintain or lose weight
For young people these days, staying up late has become the norm. Staying up late will not only cause harm to your health but also delay your success in losing weight. Getting a good night’s sleep can go a long way in losing weight.
▪️ Keep your strength up
First of all, if you have a good sleep, you will have enough energy to lose weight. We all know that losing weight requires a lot of physical effort. If you stay up late at night, you will be less efficient and less energetic the next day. Therefore, only by maintaining adequate sleep time and relatively high sleep quality can we have more energy to lose weight.
▪️ Speed up metabolism
Some people would say that drinking cold water will make you gain weight. In fact, this situation exists. This is because the metabolic rate is too low. The reason why staying up late will make people fat is because it will reduce people’s metabolism. If you can ensure enough sleep, the metabolism of various organs will be normal. Given that the basal metabolic rate increases, even if you don’t exercise, you will lose weight.
▪️ Reduce the desire for food
Many people feel hungry when they stay up late. This is because staying up late will affect our endocrine system and increase our appetite. If you go to bed early, you will not feel hungry. As a result, people will not have the urge to eat late-night snacks, so as to achieve the purpose of losing weight.
▪️ Relieve stress and anxiety
People face all kinds of pressures today. Some people choose to overeat in order to relieve stress. Although overeating can relieve a certain amount of stress, it can also make people unable to control their food intake and gain weight. If the quality of sleep is improved, it will have a certain effect on relieving people’s stress. At this time, people will not choose to eat to relieve stress, so that they can lose weight.
2. Affects sugar metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk
Common sleep problems include short sleep duration, sleep disturbances, and circadian rhythm disorders. These problems are significantly associated with metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the quality of sleep is closely related to the metabolism of sugar and type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that people who sleep too long or too short for a long time are more likely to develop diabetes than those who sleep normally. It can be seen that sleep is of great significance to blood sugar control.
Developing good sleep habits is not only conducive to maintaining good health, but also keeps the body away from the danger of diabetes. People who already suffer from diabetes must start by changing their bad sleep habits if they want to lower their blood sugar smoothly.
According to a study abroad, people who sleep 7-8 hours a night are in a very healthy condition. If people sleep less than 6 hours a night, the risk of developing diabetes will be about 2 times; if people sleep more than 8 hours, the risk of diabetes will increase by more than 3 times.
In a word, maintaining regular work and rest is essential for preventing diabetes.
3. Improve concentration and productivity
Having a good night’s sleep is essential. You must have this experience. If you stayed up late the night before, or slept poorly, the next day you will be groggy and unable to do anything. Conversely, if you get a good night’s sleep the night before, you’ll be refreshed, more focused, and more productive the next day.
Research studies have shown that if a person sleeps less than 4 hours a day than normal, the ability to respond will drop sharply by 45%. The decline in responsiveness will directly affect the level of concentration. In conclusion, having a good night’s sleep helps people to concentrate.
The quality of sleep not only affects concentration, but also efficiency. Scientists have already used data to prove that compressing sleep time is equivalent to reducing work efficiency.
Studies have reported that people’s ability to deal with problems will drop significantly 17 hours after waking up, comparable to the state of drinking (blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%). One gets up at 6 am and is still working at 11 pm. Well, it’s no different than working after drinking. When people work in this state, their cognition and judgment will decline. Even the simplest operation can be wrong.
In addition, some data show that if the sleep time is less than 5 hours for a long time, the function of the brain will decline significantly. A person will be in as bad a state as if he had just finished two or three glasses of wine. Compressing sleep time can lead to inefficiencies so that people will not produce the desired results.
As a result, we must start tonight to actually improve the quality of sleep!
4. Avoid depression
Nowadays, the pressure of life and work is high. Many people’s emotions can not be resolved. Depression is one of them. Some people choose to relieve depression through exercise, while some people choose to get enough sleep. If you ensure good sleep quality in your daily life, it is possible to improve depression.
▪️ Stabilize emotions
First of all, people who have experienced insomnia usually have a bad mood in the morning. And insomnia can lead to endocrine disorders, rapid mood swings, and even the inability to concentrate on work. When you have a good night’s sleep, you will feel the fatigue of many days swept away. Sleep allows the body to get better rest. Therefore, when you wake up, you will feel your body become empowered. Then you will be more comfortable and confident when dealing with problems. Not surprisingly, you will feel better.
▪️ Please mind and body
Nowadays, people are under a lot of work pressure and often do not have enough sleep time. Getting eight hours of sleep a day is out of imagination. Long-term lack of sleep can create a craving for adequate sleep. And when you get enough sleep, it’s like a wish comes true. A pleasant mind and body will in turn relieve depression.
▪️ Heal psychological wounds
Depression in general is heart-wrenching. And this kind of injury is that you can’t fight back with words or violence to get yourself out of depression. When people are trapped in bad emotions, some people choose to cry. However, there are more people who choose to go to sleep. It is because it’s like a new day after waking up. Good sleep will help to temporarily bury the pain. Consequently, the body and mind can be more stretched and the mood can be calmed down.
5. Strengthen your heart
It is easy to overlook that cardiovascular disease is also closely related to sleep disturbance.
There are many types of cardiovascular disease. The overall patient population is huge. Among them, the proportion of insomnia is high. It interacts with the primary disease and seriously affects the quality of life and clinical outcomes of patients. Cardiovascular disease patients may experience myocardial ischemia, arrhythmias, breathing disturbances, and even death during sleep. According to experts, about 37,500 people die suddenly every night in the United States. About 88% of them are related to cardiovascular disease.
When people are in a normal sleep state, there is sympathetic inhibition and parasympathetic excitation. At this time, the heart rate slows down, blood pressure decreases, and the heart load decreases. This is conducive to maintaining a stable state of the cardiovascular system. In this way, it can relieve the condition of patients with cardiovascular disease.
On the contrary, sleep disturbances can cause autonomic disturbances, and affect human metabolism, endocrine, and immune systems. This results in constricted blood vessels, increased blood pressure, fastened breathing, and enhanced metabolism. It will eventually lead to a series of physiological and biochemical changes such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, and arrhythmia.
Good quality sleep helps the heart rest and recover. The heart can work at the lowest frequency during sleep. At the same time, the heart can have enough time to repair itself. If you sleep irregularly, especially if you stay up too late for a long time, it will aggravate myocardial damage. For example, after staying up too late, your heart rate will increase significantly, and so will your blood pressure.
Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the sleep of cardiovascular patients. If you do not sleep well, it is recommended to adjust your lifestyle.
Tips for Sleeping Better
1. Develop good sleep habits
To have a good night’s sleep, the first thing to do is to develop good sleep habits. Go to bed at a set time and wake up at a set time every day. The best time to sleep is from 10 pm to 6 am.
Unless there are special circumstances, it is best not to stay up late. Try to get yourself to sleep during this time period.
2. Do moderate exercise during the day
Exercise can not only improve people’s physical fitness but also improve people’s sleep quality. Therefore, you can do some moderate exercise during the day. The specific method you choose can be determined according to your own interests, such as doing exercises, jogging, and skipping rope.
Try not to exercise too late. If you exercise after 8 p.m., the brain will go into a state of excitement. This makes it impossible to fall asleep on time.
3. Don’t eat too much at night
If you want to have a good night’s sleep, it is best not to eat too much at night. If you eat too much food before going to bed, the gastrointestinal tract needs to work hard to digest and absorb the food. During this process, the brain will be affected by constant stimulation. At that time, you will find it hard to fall asleep.
In addition to not eating too much at night, it is best not to drink tea and coffee before going to bed at night. This is because both drinks contain caffeine. Caffeine has certain effects on human sleep.
4. Create a suitable sleeping environment
The sleeping environment also has a great influence on sleep, so it is necessary to create a very suitable sleeping environment. First of all, let the indoor temperature be suitable, neither too hot nor too cold. Secondly, the light should also be dimmed, so that you can better sleep.
In addition, try to minimize noise during the sleep period. The reason why is that most people can not sleep peacefully in a noisy environment.
5. Try not to use electronic products before going to bed
Good sleep depends on the secretion of melatonin. The substance has a certain relationship with light sensitivity. Therefore, if the mobile phone is frequently used at night, it will form a light-sensing stimulus in the retina and affect the cortex at the same time. This will inhibit the secretion of melatonin. When the secretion of melatonin decreases, it leads to a situation of late sleep. In more serious cases, it can cause insomnia.