How Sleep Affects Your Health
Sleep is becoming one of the most underrated activities in the era we are in today. The activity that was once regarded as time for our body and brain to rest is now being associated with laziness, procrastination, and unproductivity.
How can we change our perception of sleep? We believe there are two paths for it. The first one by learning about damage lack of sleep can cause our bodies. The second one is by learning how sleep can benefit our health.
If you think that sleeping is a waste of time that you could be using crossing more tasks off your to-do list or learning new skills; we have some news for you: When your body does not get the hours of sleep it needs, there is no way you would be able to stay productive all day.
Sleep is crucial for memory retention. Thus, the lack of sleep can negatively impact your ability to retrieve memories and concentrate. Consequently, your creativity levels will be reduced, as well as your performance and capacity to analyze and solve problems.
In addition to that, not getting enough sleep hours can badly influence your mood. You may experiment it yourself any day and notice how you will become easily irritated and cranky all day long, which can increase your stress levels more than usual.
On the other hand, skimping on your shuteye time can cause premature ageing for your skin and increase your risks for developing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
Moreover, lack of sleep may lead you to eating disorders and weaken your immune system, thereby making you prone to catching infections quickly and require a longer time for your wounds to heal.
Now let’s see things from another perspective. But before doing this, let’s make one point clear: sleeping enough hours your body needs does not only cancel all the negative effects the lack of sleep could have on your mental and physical health, but it also brings more benefits that may actually be surprising to you.
No one introduces us to these benefits better than Matthew Walker, a scientist and professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Berkeley, California.
In his TED conference, the English scientist takes us on an exciting journey to discover the different levels sleep can positively impact our health, backed by studies and a multitude of scientific facts.
According to the brain scientist, sleeping more than 6 hours each night is guaranteed to boost your learning capacity by 40 percent, compared to others who regularly get less hours of sleep. This is justified by the positive signal the right side of the brain sends, which is interpreted as healthy-learning activity.
Moreover, getting enough shuteye enhances your memory by taking those memories from the ‘short-term reservoir’ to the long-term storage, where they are granted more safety and protection from loss.
By taking into account all the benefits you will be getting, and the dangers you will be protecting yourself from, you might be wondering about tips to improve the quality of your sleep.
To do so, we advise you to make sure you go to bed and wake up at the same hours every day, including the weekends.
Apart from that, it is important to stay away from alcohol, caffeine or any substances that can have a large effect on your nervous system, as it can cause insomnia and sleep disturbances.
And finally, we encourage you to be as active as you can during the day but avoid any physical activity during the few hours before bedtime.