For the body to function optimally, you need plenty of rest. Essentially, getting quality sleep will not only rejuvenate the body but also repair and restore your organ systems. Sleep also helps retain information and boost memory functions.
Unfortunately, many cultures around the world regard sleeping as a sign of laziness. In fact, many, loath and label people who sleep for long as lazy, while glorifying sleep-deprivation. However, nothing could be further from the truth. According to various surveys, some of the most successful people sleep for more than 7 hours every night, waking up early in readiness for the day ahead.
Notably, the human body can only function for a given period in a day before grinding to a halt. Here is a comprehensive write-up on why sleep is important and how to get quality sleep through healthy eating and exercise habits.
The benefits of having a good night’s sleep cannot be understated. Here are the top reasons why quality sleep is vital for your health.
You might not know this, but poor sleeping habits can make you gain excess weight. According to various studies, people with sleep-deprivation experience lower levels of leptin, which is responsible for suppressing appetite. For this reason, they tend to have a bigger appetite, leading to more calorie intake. This will certainly lead to weight gain over time.
Having sufficient rest will not only enhance your cognitive function but also improve your concentration levels. This will allow your brain to prepare sufficiently for the tasks ahead, subsequently improving your productivity. In addition, enough sleep will enhance your problem-solving skills and improve memory performance.
One of the best ways to prepare for an athletic competition is to have plenty of sleep. By sleeping well, your body will be able to store enough energy for highly competitive performance. Moreover, various studies indicate that longer sleep significantly improves reaction times, reflexes, speed, accuracy, and mental wellbeing.
Believe it or not, but sleeping less than 7 hours per night can significantly increase the risk of developing chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke. As mentioned before, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, subsequently increasing blood pressure. It also causes disruptions in glucose metabolism and other biological processes that are linked to the heart.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that does not have a cure. However, with proper management, you can live a healthy and fulfilling life, even if you have diabetes. One of the best ways to manage the disease and reduce its symptoms is by having sufficient sleep. Research shows that an increase in sleep duration can reduce the adverse effects on blood sugar.
About 90% of people with depression normally complain of insomnia or lack of quality sleep at night. Moreover, those with conditions such as sleep apnea also report higher rates of depression and anxiety than those without. Poor sleeping patterns may bring about suicidal thoughts or entertain a feeling of hopelessness in the patient, subsequently causing depression.
Besides enhancing athletic performance, good sleep is also essential for higher energy levels. By sleeping well at night, your body will be able to convert calories into the much-needed energy required for your daily routines. Essentially, sleeping well will rejuvenate your body and restore your energy levels in readiness for the next day.
In essence, you will have difficulties recognizing and interpreting important expressions such as anger or happiness. In addition, your brain will be unable to process emotional information, subsequently affecting your social interactions.
This might sound unbelievable, but good sleep plays a crucial role in boosting your immune function. Apparently, people who sleep for longer hours tend to have better immune systems, while those who sleep less tend to contract coughs and common colds. It is therefore not surprising that most doctors recommend quality sleep as a way to treat some viral conditions such as a cold.
Besides eating healthy and exercising regularly, sleep is undoubtedly a pillar of better health. People who sleep longer do not need to visit the doctor frequently, as they do not develop diseases regularly.
Sleep deprivation might be intentional or because of an underlying condition such as insomnia, depression, or anxiety. Whatever the case, you can improve your sleeping patterns easily by embracing healthy, natural eating habits. Here are a few tips on how you can get better sleep naturally.
If you want to improve your sleeping patterns and enjoy a good night’s rest, then you should avoid eating food low in fiber and high in saturated fats. These foods tend to cause sleeplessness, as they are harder to digest and promote brain activity, making it difficult to get sufficient sleep.
Drinking a cup of coffee in the morning won’t affect your sleep at night, but consuming caffeine later in the day or close to bedtime might lead to sleeplessness. Apparently, caffeine is a stimulant that increases alertness, subsequently hindering your sleep at night.
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, then eating a balanced diet should be first among your priorities. Your dietary regime should include foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and proteins. Additionally, you should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and Vitamin B in your diet, to help regulate melatonin, which is a key sleep hormone.
There are dozens of natural supplements that you can include in your diet to stimulate a feeling of relaxation and help you sleep better at night. Some of the most popular supplements that you should consider include Ginkgo biloba, valerian root, and lavender herb. These herbs and root extracts improve relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance sleep.
White bread might be sweeter than the brown, whole-grain variety. However, it is rich in complex carbohydrates that may reduce serotonin levels, subsequently impairing sleep. Apart from white bread, you should also avoid refined pasta, baked foods, and sugary products. Instead, opt for whole-grain snacks such as popcorn and oatmeal.
A warm cup of milk is a home remedy that works wonders in inducing relaxation and helping with better sleep at night. Milk contains up to four different sleep-promoting ingredients, including calcium, tryptophan, vitamin D, and melatonin. These compounds work together to promote sleep. Moreover, drinking a cup of warm milk is psychological as most people believe that taking this warm beverage before bed is a relaxing nightly ritual since time immemorial.
Taking sleeping pills might help you sleep at night, but only in the short term. Essentially, over-relying on pills can significantly interfere with your sleeping patterns in that you will be unable to sleep at night without consuming these drugs. For this reason, it is advisable that you avoid these pills to prevent your dependency on them.
Alcohol is a depressant that might help you doze off quickly and sleep more deeply. However, this is only for a while, as alcohol is known to reduce and disrupt the Rapid Eye Movement. It also suppresses breathing, subsequently increasing the risk of developing sleep apnea. With this in mind, it is only logical that you avoid consuming large quantities of alcohol before going to bed.
Eating well and exercising regularly go hand in hand as far as improving sleeping patterns is concerned. For you to enjoy a more fulfilling night’s sleep, it is advisable that you supplement your dietary regime with a viable workout program.
Various studies suggest that regular exercise can greatly improve the sleep patterns of people with sleeplessness and other conditions such as insomnia. Just a single workout session not only reduces the time it takes to fall asleep but also increases the length of your sleep.
Apparently, exercising increases body temperature and enhances metabolism. The post-exercise drop in temperature subsequently promotes falling asleep much faster for longer. Exercise also decreases anxiety, arousal, and depressive symptoms, consequently encouraging better sleep.
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A good night’s sleep is just as important to your health as eating well and exercising regularly. Interestingly, all these activities are intertwined in some way. Essentially, for you to enhance your sleep, you should consider embracing healthy natural eating and exercise habits for a healthier life.
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