A few months ago, I was at home after graduating from university. I experienced something different and unwanted or awkward conditions. Most of the time, I would use to feel lousy and clumsy. My brain would remain foggy for most of the day. I was unable to focus and concentrate on things properly. This losing interest and focus on my career were enough to make me even more depressed.
A few months went like that. One day, unexpectedly, I discovered an article stating the importance of good sleep. I gave it a read like many other random articles on my google feed. It was then that I realized to have some sleep issues. I had developed an unhealthy habit of sleeping late at night and then waking up late in the mornings(Perks of being at home).
So, I made some lifestyle changes, focused on my sleep patterns, and managed my bedtime to benefit from healthy sleeping habits to improve my overall health condition.
Here are some of my findings on the importance of good sleep. I’m sure you won’t be able to deny the importance of good sleep after reading the article.
Importance of good sleep for mental health
Good sleep is closely related to mental health and well-being. Sleep deprivation severely damages the proper functioning of the brain. Poor sleep habits can build up stress in no time.
The unnecessary stress ultimately leads to depression, anxiety, and mental health problems. Therefore, it is crucial to address the issue in the right ways and adopt a healthy lifestyle that maintains proper sleeping habits for both our physical and mental health.
Improved cognitive abilities
Good sleep is essential for better cognitive functioning. Not getting enough sleep can have detrimental effects on your cognitive abilities such as learning, memory making, reasoning, speaking, attention, language, focus, concentration, etc.
It is scientifically proven that; cognitive functions mostly rely on sleep patterns. Sleep can enhance cognitive functioning in several folds.
A healthy sleep pattern can improve mood, process language effectively, increase focus and concentration, validate reasoning abilities, sharpens memory, and enhance learning skills to boost working efficiency and cognitive functioning.
Sleep strengthens the Immune System
Sleep can strengthen or weaken the immune system. Sleep bolsters both innate and adaptive immunity. Research shows that immune functions become active during sleep time. For instance: enhanced production of cytokines. These cytokines perform several immune functions including inflammation to trigger an immune response in case of emergency. The production of cytokines is associated with both the sleep and circadian rhythm(biological clock).
Sleep also improves the vaccine efficacy for adaptive immunity in the body. Therefore, sleep can be used as an indicator to see the effectiveness of vaccines.
Sleep for weight loss
Weight loss is a hectic task to achieve, but it is not something impossible. According to the sleep foundation, lack of sleep led to weight gain, increased Body mass index (BMI), and obesity in Americans.
Several hypotheses a made in connection to sleep and weight gain. One of the hypothesis says that lack of sleep increase appetite and craving. The increased appetite is linked to disturbance of hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, due to poor sleep. Hence, more eating leads to weight gain and obesity.
How much sleep do you need?
The amount of sleep that a person needs vary depending on various factors.For example,
Light and temperature etc
Sleep hours for different age groups are listed below in the table:
Recommended Sleep hours
|Newborn||0 to 3 months old||14-17|
|Infant||4-11 months old||12-15|
|Toddler||1-2 years old||11-14|
|Preschool||3-5 years old||10-13|
|School-age||6-13 years old||9-11|
|Teen||14-17 years old||8-10
|Young Adult||18-25 years old||7-9|
|Adult||26-64 years old||7-9|
|Other Adults||65 or more years old||7-8|