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Health is Wealth: Why sleep is important for healthy living


Health is Wealth: Why sleep is important for healthy living

By Jennifer S Kuwanta 

The daily hustle and bustle in the modern society seem to undermine the benefits of a good and proper sleep.

People are carried away by their busy schedule and consumed by their workaholic nature neglecting the effect of sound sleep to humans health.

Sleeping right is just as important as exercising or eating a nutritious balanced diet. A good sleep improves and maintains your general well being.

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Depriving yourself of proper sleep can jeopardize your health and make you prone to ailments. This is why it is important to take serious a good night sleep, despite your busy schedules.

Research shows that inadequate sleep can result to chronic ailments which many Nigerians sees as spiritual attack or hereditary ailments.

Below are some of the reasons you need to improve your sleep habit:

Lower Risk of Heart Disease

The risk of having heart disease amongst others is high blood pressure which is common in a lot of individuals as they age.

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) getting adequate rest each night allows the body’s blood pressure to regulate itself.

The research stated that “People who sleep for a very short period of time appears to have a higher risk of blood pressure, especially those with obstructive sleep apnea – a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep”, says the National Library of Medicine.

According to the Journal of clinical sleep medicine the research revealed that “people who sleep fewer than 5 hours per night had 61% higher risk of developing high blood pressure than those who sleep 7 hours.”

The National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed that “excessive sleep in adults more than 9 hours was shown to increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Getting a good night’s sleep can also reduce the chances of sleep related conditions such as apnea and promotes better overall heart health.

Stronger Immune System

Sleeping for at least 7 hours can improve your immune function and help fight common cold.

Some data gathered from the National Library of Medicine suggests that proper sleep may improve your body antibodies response to influenza vaccines.
Sleep assist in body repair, regeneration and recovery. It helps the body repair itself and strengthen the immune system.

Preventing depression

Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression, especially those with sleeping disorder.

A large number of mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression are strongly connected to poor sleep quality and disorders.

According to PubMed Central, from National Institutes of Health. The institute revealed that in 2,672 participants found, those with anxiety and depression were more likely to report poorer sleeps scores than those without anxiety and depression.

Amie C. Hayley, a psychiatrist on Feb, 2015 conducted a research from the American National Health and Nutrition Examination on the relationship between Insomnia, Sleep Apnea and depression and found out that those with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, also reports higher rates of depression and those without.

It is advised that “if you’re having difficulties with sleep and mental health worsens, speak to your healthcare professional.”

Lack of proper sleep affects sugar metabolism and type two diabetes risk

A very short sleep fewer than five hours increases the risk of developing type two diabetes and insulin resistance(this means your body cannot use the hormone insulin properly) by 48%.

This is proven by a research conducted by Thunyarat Anothaisintawee on Dec 2016, titled Sleep Disturbances Compared to Traditional Risk Factors for Diabetes Improvements.

In a report titled sleep duration and diabetes risks written by Dr. Michael A. Grander, and other professionals stated that “sleep deprivation can cause psychological disorder like decreased insulin sensitivity, increased inflammation and hunger hormone changes, as well as behavioral changes like poor decision making, and greater food intake. All of which increases diabetes risk.

Also, “deprivation of sleep has been associated with higher rates of developing heart disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity, which are all factors that increases diabetes risk.

Lower Weight Gain Risk

Over the years, there have been studies that links obesity to poor sleep patterns.

Sleeping shorter than seven hours per night leads to greater risks of weight gain and high body mass index (BMI).

The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be affected by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise.

The Korean Society for the Study of Obesity in a Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome Sleep Obesity, cited an instance: “sleep deprivation increases level of ghrelin and decreases levels of leptin.

Ghrelin is a hormone that makes us feel hungry, while leptin makes us feel full. This may cause us to feel hungrier and over eats.

This hunger makes you want to compensate for your lack of energy by craving foods that are higher in sugar and fats due to higher calorie contents.

To make matters worse, feeling tired after a night of too little sleep leaves you unmotivated for a session at a gym or going for a walk.

So prioritizing sleep may support a healthy body weights.

Sleeping right can Improve

concentration and productivity as your cognition, concentration, productivity and performance will be heightened. Good sleep can also maximize problem solving skills and enhance memory.

In contrast, Poor sleep has shown to impair brain function and decision making skills.

Severe sleep deprivation can greatly affect your ability to make critical decisions, leaves us tired so we lose our ability to focus on tasks and reflexes.

In fact, being severely sleep deprived is comparable to having consumed excess alcohol. This can be dangerous for yourself and others.

Concerningly, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 25 people have fallen asleep at the wheel while driving which leaves which leads to accidents.

How much sleep do you need?
According to CDC, the breakdown is as follows.

Newborns 0 – 13 months (14 – 17 hours)
Infants 4 – 12 months (12 – 16 hours)
Toddlers 1 – 2 years (11 – 14 hours)
Preschool 3 – 5 years (10 – 13 hours)
School age 6 – 12 years (9 – 12 hours) Teenagers 13 – 18 years (8 – 10 hours)
Adults 19 – 60 years (7 hours plus)
Adults 61 – 64 years (7 – 9 hours.
Adults 65 years plus (7 – 8 hours)

Although the hours of sleep matters.
The quality also has to be in check.

The Signs of a poor quality sleep includes:

– waking up in the middle of the night.

– Still not feeling rested after adequate sleep.

Tips to improve quality of sleep

_Go to bed at a fixed time routine every night.

_ Avoid sleeping again when you’ve had enough sleep, spending more time outside and being more active during the day.

_Reducing stress through exercise, taking a walk, therapy or order means.

Sleep is a very vital yet often neglected components of every human life.

The human body is just like a machine which requires rest, else overworking it could cause a breakdown.
This applies to the human body as well.

So it is advisable to always have a fixed routine to get adequate sleep to ensure our bodies are in good shape.

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