Healthy sleep habits for physical and mental wellness

Adequate and proper sleep has a number of health benefits that cannot be substituted by any other factors. Experts have described the importance of sleep for the overall well-being of the body and mind.

The hustle and bustle of life has forced us to compromise on several fronts, and inadequate sleep can be counted as just one of them. But remember compromising with sleep can pose several health challenges that, sometimes, could be vital. It’s necessary to adopt healthy sleep habits that make you feel relaxed and agile.

Polysomnography or sleep study and Actigraphy (a non-invasive method of monitoring human rest/activity cycles) are very common tests conducted to read the intensity of sleep disorders. Under Polysomnography, experts record functions of brain waves, heart rate, the oxygen level in the blood and breathing rate.

Adequate sleep:

There are some differences in experts over the adequate time span to sleep, but several research studies have agreed upon the average period. Teenagers need about 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep, on average. For adults, 7 to 9 hours of quality night sleep is sufficient. Toddlers have to sleep up to 21 hours while pregnant women are advised to take a little longer sleep in the first 3 months of pregnancy than normal time length.

Benefits of adequate sleep:

It really feels better after a good night’s sleep. In addition, it allows you to possess a number of health benefits that help to perform better in life. Some of these benefits can be described as:

• Improves life expectancy

People suffering from insomnia and sleep disorder are found to have a shorter lifespan as they tend to develop some other health problems due to unhealthy sleep habits.

A study published in 2010 revealed that women from the age group of 50-79 who get less than five hours of sleep have shorter life expectancy. The importance of sleep is also medically proved that states if you take better sleep, then you live longer.

• Strengthens memory

Your mind badly needs relaxation and a quality sleep is the best treatment for that. It helps you to strengthen the capacity of memory and grasp the skills that you learn when you are awake. Medically, it’s called a consolidation process of mind that helps you perform with the best capacity.

Experts say if you learn something with physical or mental efforts, it’s necessary to absorb things with full refreshment. A proper sleep always helps you learn it better. Teenagers and students must take full sleep to improve memory that’s essential to learn things to performance better. An adequate sleep is also needed to improve the quality of life. A victim of sleep disorder is easily gripped by some serious health conditions that can affect his or her physical and mental efficiency, apart from the negative ramifications on social and emotional aspects.

• Resists aging effects

The lack of adequate sleep leads the development of wrinkles, premature aging, and roughness of skin. Less sleep increases blood levels of inflammatory proteins that can incur skin problems. Black circles under eyes are commonly seen in the people who take less sleep. This habit pushes the overproduction of the C-receptive protein that further increases the risks of heart disease and high blood pressure. So you have to take full sleep to counter these aging effects and keep your skin smooth and supple.

• Enhances attention capability

Lack of sufficient sleep hours severely affects the learning and attention capacity of children. This condition also encourages the development of ADHD-like symptoms such as mood instability, learning disability, impatience, irritation, restlessness etc. Since children don’t react like an adult in sleep deprivation due to unhealthy sleep habits, they tend to be hyperactive and less attentive to parents as well as study.

It’s the duty of guardians to look after their children and ensure that they take full and quality sleep.

• Improves sex lifespan

A study done by the National Sleep Foundation has proved that up to 26% of people who take less sleep have a poor sex life because they are distracted from sex. The condition of low testosterone is the main reason for low sex drive in such people. Experts say that people have to realize the importance of sleep to save their love life.

• Heals body pain

Whether you have chronic pain or witnessing pain from any injury, take enough sleep to heal it in lesser time. Even a headache, backache or muscle pain is drastically relieved by comfortable and full night. It’s a natural medication that can be described as a sleep aid.

• Keeps slim physique

Adequate sleep is needed to maintain body weight and helps to avoid the risk of obesity. Medically, the hormone leptin plays a key role in keeping you slim and fit while those who take less sleep experience its lower level in the body. It also makes you feel hungry that raises crave for high-fat and fast foods. Therefore, you have to have healthy sleep habits to avoid the extra weight gain.

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