Researchers have already done a good job of studying how the body and mind depend on sleep and what the effects are when rest periods are not taken very seriously. Here are the top 7 reasons to make sure you get enough sleep:
Sleep Strengthens The Heart
Persistent lack of sleep triggers inflammatory processes in the body. This promotes calcification of the blood vessels (arteriosclerosis), which is considered the main cause of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks or strokes. Just as lack of sleep damages the heart, getting enough sleep protects it: sleep keeps blood pressure constant over the long term, which improves blood vessel and heart health.
Sleep Keeps The Immune System Fit
The body’s defense against infections, the immune system, needs sleep to function optimally. More specifically, sleep is needed for immune cells to be able to fight off pathogens. Short-term lack of sleep, for example, impairs the function of the so-called T-cells, which eliminate infected body cells and thus prevent a virus from spreading too much in the body.
Sleep Promotes Muscle Building
Sleep and exercise belong together: Sleep plays an important role in muscle building. Studies suggest that muscle mass decreases more in people who sleep five and a half hours or less a night than in those who sleep more than eight hours. Researchers suspect that when you get enough sleep, growth hormones are released and the formation of proteins that are important for muscle building is influenced.
Sleep Can Increase Performance
Sleepless nights have a significant impact on concentration and thinking. How well someone sleeps influences the performance of the brain, because: During sleep, memory is formed and consolidated. Memories solidify, superfluous information is “sorted out”.
Sleep Reduces The Risk Of Accidents
In some cases, neglecting sleep can be life-threatening – especially on the road. Anyone who is constantly overtired has an increased risk of accidents, because driving a car drowsy can lead to what is known as microsleep, a life-threatening attack of falling asleep. In the United States, around 62 percent of all traffic accidents are due to sleepiness. Half of all sleepiness-related accidents are caused by young drivers aged 25 or younger. Shift workers are particularly at risk on the way home: their accident risk is up to eight times higher.
Sufficient Sleep Protects Against Obesity
Does lack of sleep contribute to weight gain? Researchers have been dealing with this question for some time. A study from the UK suggests that adults who sleep short have a higher risk of obesity. Conversely, people who sleep more tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI). This negative relationship between sleep duration and BMI can be traced back to various pathophysiological causes. These are disease-related changes in bodily functions. These include, for example, the negative effects of lack of sleep on the metabolism. Additionally, people who get little sleep tend to have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates feelings of hunger and satiety.
Everyone spends about 20 percent of each night dreaming, even if the dreamer doesn’t remember it the next morning. The most vivid dreams occur in the REM sleep phase. It has not yet been conclusively clarified which tasks the dream sleep fulfills exactly. However, researchers assume that dreams help the brain to process emotions, especially those from the area of the so-called “day residue”, i.e. emotional memories of the events of the previous day. A good reason to go to bed early more often.