Why Sleeping Beauty was a smart girl!
As we grow older, sleep becomes more and more of a luxury that we never valued when we had the chance. We find numerous ways to prep ourselves up and compensate for a lack of sleep, but sometimes no amount of caffeine can reverse the damage being done. What difference could an extra hour of sleep make in your life? Maybe quite a lot, experts say. Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood, your weight, and even your creativity.
Better health. Getting a good night’s sleep won’t grant you immunity from disease, but study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.
Less pain. If you have chronic pain — or acute pain from a recent injury — getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Unfortunately, being in pain can make it hard to sleep. This is always knowledge for regular gym goers who sometimes experience a hike in pain caused due to a fiercer routine. Sleep it off!
Lower risk of injury. Sleeping enough might actually keep you safer. Sleep deprivation has been linked with many notorious disasters; of course, any kind of accident is more likely when you’re exhausted. When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to trip, or fall off a ladder, cut yourself while chopping vegetables or even doze off while you’re driving. These events can have disastrous consequences.
Better mood. Getting enough sleep won’t guarantee a sunny disposition. But you have probably noticed that when you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to be cranky. That’s not all. Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation; you’re more likely to snap at your boss, or burst into tears, or start laughing uncontrollably. Sleep keeps you sane!
Better weight control. Getting enough sleep could help you maintain your weight — and conversely, sleep loss goes along with an increased risk of weight gain. Why? Part of the problem is behavioural. If you’re overtired, you might be less likely to have the energy to go for that jog or cook a healthy dinner after work. The other part is physiological. The hormone Leptin plays a key role in making you feel full. When you don’t get enough sleep, Leptin levels drop. Result: people who are tired are just plain hungrier — and they seem to crave high-fat and high-calorie foods specifically
Clearer thinking. Sleep loss affects how you think. It impairs your cognition, your attention, your memory and recall and your decision-making. Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived are substantially worse at solving logic or math problems than when they’re well-rested. You are also more likely to think innovatively and creatively when you aren’t trying to sneak in a nap- creativity requires some time to sit and think, which isn’t possible if all you want to do is lie down.
If you’re getting less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, above are six reasons why you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight. You may wake up more beautiful, smarter or best of all, the best version of yourself.