People associate good health with eating a balanced diet, hydrating often, and getting enough exercise. They usually overlook a key part of the process - good sleep. Sleep is the most important factor to your overall health and well-being, without which all other remedies yield little to no positive results. This article looks at the importance of sleep, reveals how many hours sleep is good for health, and how you can attain quality sleep consistently.
Benefits of a good night’s sleep
Poor sleep is a pandemic that no one talks enough about. Many people do not get quality sleep, and the effects are staggering. Poor sleep is associated with cardiac complications, diabetes, dementia, and other adverse health issues. One in seven Brits clocks less than five hours of sleep, with 71% of UK adults failing to get up to seven hours of sleep each night consistently.
Your body repairs and restores various critical components during sleep. For example, repairing damaged muscle tissue and removing accumulated toxins in the brain requires you to shut down for those processes to occur effectively. The brain also takes that time to organise and store your memories. Sleep is also essential for regulating your emotions. Therefore, failing to get enough sleep leaves you exhausted, irritated, forgetful, and confused. You’re likely to develop health complications and take time to balance your physiological and psychological self.
Enhances attention and concentration
A well-rested mind remains alert and focused on the tasks at hand. It is difficult to attain this status when your body and mind are fatigued and need repair. Loading your mind with mental challenges will prove futile since you cannot think strategically, assess risks, concentrate, or react fast enough. Imagine the danger involved if you are to operate heavy machinery then or work on sensitive tasks.
Improves your ability to learn
As mentioned, sleep helps in preserving your memories. During sleep, your brain converts short-term memories into long-term ones. This way, you can internalise all you’ve learned throughout the day for future reference. This is especially critical for children and students.
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Maintains an ideal body weight
Good sleep helps you maintain a healthy body weight. Poor sleep makes you tired, and you’re likely to overeat or use more stimulants than normal. Either way, you’ll have difficulty keeping your weight at the ideal level. Additionally, the exhausted feeling will leave you sluggish and discourage you from partaking in healthy activities like walking or going to the gym. Being moody also prevents you from spending time outside, where the fresh air would rejuvenate and motivate you to remain active. All these events conspire to make you lazy and inattentive to your weight gain.
Boosts your immune system
During sleep, your body repairs and rebuilds itself, so you’re advised to get plenty of rest when you are sick. Giving your body the time to focus on those repairs also gives your immune system a chance to fortify itself enough to handle future health complications.
Minimises stress levels
Getting a good night’s sleep is an effective solution to stress. When you’re stressed, you can hardly focus, and your decision-making is compromised. While there are many ways of dealing with stress, sleep resets your brain and allows you to come back refreshed and ready to tackle those challenges. Resetting your body also improves your perspective and allows you to devise clever ways out of tough situations.
How many hours sleep is good for health?
The ideal sleep duration is different for different individuals and circumstances. Generally, clocking between seven and nine hours is considered healthy for adults. Children and teenagers need more hours, as do the sick. Infants sleep the longest, up to 17 hours. Pre-teens need about 11 hours, and teenagers 10 hours. Young adults and adults need seven to nine hours, and the elderly need up to eight hours.
How to improve your sleep
It is not enough to get enough sleep, you need to get enough quality sleep. Clocking eight hours of sleep in a stuffy, noisy, and brightly lit room is more damaging than sleeping for a few hours in a dark, quiet, and comfortable room. Therefore, aim to prepare well for sleep, sleep well, and maintain the same high-quality sleep throughout your life.
This is the concept of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene takes a holistic approach, ensuring you maintain healthy habits that ultimately affect your sleep quality, improving your health and the reciprocal relationship continues.
Check your sleep schedule
Sleep hygiene advocates for regular sleep and wake-up time. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same times daily. Setting such a natural clock helps in hormone balance and trains your mind to know when to be alert and when to take a back seat.
Adopt healthy habits
During the day, you need to remain active and only eat healthy foods. Overstimulating, especially in the afternoon, affects sleep quality, and junk food promotes weight gain.
Avoid electronic devices before bedtime
You should stop staring at screens at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light from those screens prevents your body from secreting sleep hormones. Additionally, avoid drinking alcohol to help you sleep as it tricks you into thinking you’re getting quality sleep when it is actually wrecking your health.
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Sleep on a comfortable bed
Besides ensuring the bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet, you need to sleep on a comfortable mattress and sturdy bed.
Address any sleep disorders
You need to seek medical attention if you suffer from sleep apnoea or other disorders. Addressing it now helps you access quality sleep, improving your health and giving your partner peace of mind to enjoy good sleep.
How many hours sleep is good for health? Several factors affect sleep quality, including sleep duration and your sleeping environment. This article shares important information to help you address those issues. We can help you significantly reduce such complications with the right bed. Get in touch today and let us design the best bed for your particular needs.
By Shane Cousins on
By Shane Cousins on
By Shane Cousins on