There is so much of an abundance of scientific evidence that proves the health benefits of getting quality sleep, that you have to be out of your gourd to not heed my advice!
Sleeping for at least 8 hours improves your health considerably.
If you are reading this for the first time, I’m going to let you get away with 7 hours, for now, but the more, the better, so our objective from this point, honestly, is to shoot for 9, OK? And you’ll know why very quickly.
Sleep is the ultimate cure-all. During a good night’s sleep, your body has the chance to relax muscles, repair damage, detoxify, fortify your immune system, balance out hormones and neurotransmitters, and completely restore itself. Athlete’s, make no mistake about it, your gains are not only built in the gym, they are in fact built at night, in bed.
Alternatively, chronic sleep deprivation is so problematic; it increases the risk of disease, obesity and so many other serious illnesses, which is why it is crucial to get high-quality sleep every night.
If you are coming down with a cold, fighting off the ‘Rona, dealing with a stressful period in your life, or trying to diet and lose weight, the success of your day directly depends on if you slept well the night before. This is Non-Negotiable, gang.
Unfortunately the reverse is also true, and at least one-third of Americans live in a bleary eyed state of sleep deprivation.
We deteriorate with chronic sleep deprivation: heart health, blood sugar metabolism, libido and reproductive health, psychological health and skin appearances all go to pieces. Just one or two nights of sleep deprivation diminish your cognition, mood and immune function. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night triples your risk of viral infection. On the other hand, if you get extra rest when you are sick, you WILL recuperate much more quickly.
Sleeping for just 5 hours per night can cause you to up your calorie intake, make it harder to stick to a healthy diet and make good self-care decisions, and cause you to gain a whooping 2 pounds in a matter of 5 days compared with sleeping 8 hours a night.
Worse, researchers have found that workers who slept 5 or fewer hours per night had DOUBLE the risk of death from all causes versus those who averaged 7 or more hours.
The flip side of this dismal scenario is that getting adequate sleep (which is SOOOO enjoyable (and free) improves almost every aspect of health you can imagine. Again, as I told you before, I need you to aim for at least 7 hours per night and your perfect objective is 9 hours per night. You’ll begin to reap the rewards almost immediately, I promise!
Yet, unfortunately, sleep remains under-appreciated by many people, as they continue to steal their sleep time for ‘catch-up’ work or playtime. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the increase of Alzheimer’s and other mental health issues are on the rise.
Sleeping Cleans Your Mind
A good night’s sleep allows the brain to restore and consolidate memories. Think of your brain as a computer. A computer needs defragging when it gets clogged to help put all the files back into place. Your brain is similar! Scientists have discovered that it is only when a person sleeps that the brain activates its nocturnal cleaning services. Therefore, the brain undergoes its detoxification process during sleep.
The Brain’s Cleaning System
A group of researchers discovered that the brain’s glymphatic system is highly active during sleep. That’s with a “g”….The glymphatic system basically cleans out the trash, toxins, and waste, which are the primary culprits, not just for Alzheimer’s, but for many other neurological problems. Researchers have also revealed that during sleep the brain removes much of the beta-amyloid protein, that when left to accumulate also contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain Cells Shrink During Sleep
Another interesting fact is that brain cells shrink up to 60% during sleep. This shrinkage allows easier cleaning in and around the spaces of the brain’s cells. This means more cerebrospinal fluid can enter the brain, enabling faster and efficient toxin flushing. The cerebrospinal fluids pass through the gaps in between the neurons, then flow through the bloodstream and into the liver for detoxification. This process gets rid of the toxins and wastes for good.
During sleep, there are certain parts of the brain that are more active than any other periods within the 24-hour cycle. This is because there are other functions that need to be carried out during sleep besides cleaning…
Sleeping greatly dictates what and how much information we either remember or forget. Through sleep, the brain will be able to enhance and/or preserve certain parts of our memory. Research reveals that the memories that have the greatest emotional value will be enhanced through sleep, while those memories with lesser value will be downgraded.
People also need to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep so their brains will be able to carry out automatic processes of the body, such as hormone manufacture and secretion, in an optimal manner.
Sleep for Skin Health
Living in a high-stress state shuts down attention to the skin, and skin friendly nutrients get sent elsewhere. But, your body gives extra TLC to your skin while you sleep, eliminating toxins via an interconnected detoxification system, repairing damage, and generating new skin cells. Signs of sleep deprivation, including dark rings under your eyes and a gaunt, grayish, wrinkled appearance, will show on the skin in just one night, worsening as the deprivation continues.
When you sleep, your body repairs and replenishes the skin. But, it also spends that same time detoxifying your body and when your body’s standard detox organs get overburdened, your skin gets sacrificed and kicked to the side, and we see a loss of vitality, wrinkles, dark circles, rashes and blemishes. Skimping on sleep can begin to wreck your skin within just a day or two, amplifying wrinkles, dulling skin tone and reducing the vitality of your connective tissue
Sleep for Bone Health
Better bone health requires quality sleep. Yes, diet and exercise play a part, but sleep is a necessary requirement. Sleep is necessary for the production of healthy bone marrow, which contains stem cells that form healthy blood cells. This complex process cannot be performed without sleep. So if you want to have healthy bone marrow, make sure you get plenty of shut-eye.
Sleep for Hormone Health
Our body is full of hormones, all of which do different, essential things. We have our stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline hormones, our sex hormones, thyroid hormones and more. All these essential hormones are affected by sleep or a lack thereof. If our hormones are out of balance, so too is our health, either mentally or physically. SO, getting the right amount of sleep will help rebalance your hormones and your health.
Sleep for Heart and Liver Health
Again, sleep is important for two more major parts of our body, the heart, and the liver. The health of these major organs is essential to our total wellbeing, so it makes sense to start caring for them by getting quality sleep.
Although sleep appears to be an easy task for the body to perform, it is actually a complex process. It is definitely more than just a period of quiescence for the mind and body.
If you want a healthy mind and body, you need to care for it the best and easiest way possible, and that is to sleep! It doesn’t require you to measure food portions or count carbs or calories, or whatever your preference for maintaining a healthy weight may be, or running around the park, or pushing weights at the gym. It simply means making the time to sleep, and sleeping for an adequate period of time.