There are many benefits to getting your full 8 hours a night. Getting less than 6-7 hours of sleep a night can put you at greater risk of developing diseases.
Our bodies produce melatonin during sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the brain by the pineal gland and helps control our daily sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin levels start to rise in the evening after sunset, then drops in the early morning, causing us to wake up.
Benefits of Sleep
- Stress Reducing; Lack of sleep can cause our bodies to go into stress mode which can in turn produce cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can interfere with memory and learning. It can lower immune functions as well as cause high blood pressure and increased weight gain.
- Stress hormones can raise inflammation levels in the body, which can cause the body to deteriorate as we age.
- Sleep makes us more alert and makes us feel more energized.
- Deep sleep makes our brain process things better, thereby improving our memory.
- 6-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis helps balance ghrelin and leptin hormone levels, which regulates appetite. Leptin is a protein that regulates body weight. It decreases the appetite. Ghrelin, also known as the hunger hormone, triggers feelings of hunger. It increases the appetite.
- Napping during the day is a great alternative to caffeine and can make us more productive. Napping can improve our moods and our cognitive functions, making us more alert and productive.
- Lack of sleep can cause low serotonin levels which in turn may lead to depression.
- While we sleep, the body is hard at work repairing itself.
- During sleep, our cells produce proteins that help repair damage in the body caused by stress and other environmental factors.
Too Much Sleep Can Be Harmful:
The amount of sleep we need vary over the course of our lifetime. It depends on our activity levels and our lifestyle habits. During periods of stress and illness, our bodies may require more sleep in order to recuperate. But too much sleep can backfire and contribute to weight gain. It may also increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and depression.
Our bodies need sleep in order to function properly. Lack of sleep makes it difficult for our brain cells to function effectively which in turn can lead to a myriad of health and memory issues. So go get your 7-9 hours and don’t forget to nap during the day whenever possible for a little energy boost. So, aim for no less than 6 hours and no more than 9 hours a night.
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