We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day…well, sleep is the most important part of the night. And the wonderful thing about it is that we don’t have to do anything. Actually, that’s not entirely correct, as our bodies do plenty during sleep, only we are rarely aware of it. Perhaps we’re keenly aware of all the health benefits of sleep on those days when we don’t get much sleep?!
We are all active during the day in different ways but, nevertheless, we are active. Every activity, whether it happens in our muscles, heart, intestines, brain, etc …requires energy. And during that activity, we get tired.
Let me make a distinction between feeling tired and feeling fatigued. All fatigue is a form of tiredness, but not every tiredness is fatigue. During every day’s activities, we grow tired. This is a normal process, whether we are doing hard physical work, or we spend the day doing mostly sedentary activities. At some point, we will start to feel tired. That is how a healthy body works.
Today we are surrounded by information… that information is about light, color, odor, touch, temperature …we are receiving this information from our environment through our senses, and our brain has to process it. Alongside this external information, our brain has to deal with the information coming from internal sources, as well.
Our body is a chemical industry. Products of our metabolism are piling up in the body every day and are contributing to feeling tired. And at some point, our brain sends the signal that rest is required.
Now, resting is not shutting off. The brain then switches to another level of functioning. It lowers our prime bodily functions, requests the cleaning of the entire body, and it starts sorting out the information it acquired during the day.
In order to achieve a proper reboot from the previous day, and get the health benefits from sleeping, we need to actually sleep. It’s that simple. Every living thing has to sleep. Even fish sleep, even though they look like they are always awake and swimming. Like we mentioned earlier, during sleep our brain puts itself and our body into recovery mode. During this period the brain is looking at what we have learned and creates long term memory from the previous day’s experiences.
In addition to that, the brain is responsible for stimulating the production of cytokines. These are types of proteins that play an important role in your immune system, by fighting off infections.
What if we don’t get enough sleep?
Sleep deprivation is a condition where we don’t get enough sleep. If this turns out to be a chronic condition (which in today’s fast-paced world is often a case) then it can be a serious problem. Prolonged deficiency of sleep can cause fatigue and a whole host of health issues.
Since our brain is what regulates our bodies, without rest and “recharge” of the brain our body begins to suffer. There is a study that showed approximately 20% of adults suffer from sleep deprivation. Of course, one of the first body parts that feel sleep deprivation is the brain since cognitive functions are heavily influenced by sleep. An article on www.nature.com compared the lack of sleep with the effects of alcohol. It showed that 19 hours of wakefulness has the same effect on attention as 0.05% blood alcohol content (BAC) while 24 hours of being wake has a similar effect as a 0.10% BAC would. This is why traffic collisions caused by drivers with sleep deprivation can match the severity of those caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.
To list some of the health issues which may be caused by sleep deprivation:
- Muscle ache,
- Increased risk of diabetes,
- Increased stress hormone levels,
- Lowered immunity, etc.
One very important aspect of sleep deprivation is irritability which affects both our personal and professional environments, as well. This can lead to further social and health problems, as well as depression.
Health benefits from sleeping
Looking at the possible issues listed above, we can see how important healthy sleep is!
Sleep can reduce stress, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of depression. Quality sleep makes us more alert, it improves memory, improves mood and can even help us maintain a healthy weight. It also helps to boost your immune system.
For healthy adults, the health benefits of sleeping are generally enjoyed with 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Now let me share some tips on how to improve the quality of sleep and avoid sleep deprivation:
- Proper light exposure during the day helps our circadian rhythm and improves the quality and duration of sleep
- Avoid caffeinated beverages late in the day
- Try to avoid long naps during the day
- Avoid alcohol as it can increase the irregularity of sleep
- Try to stay consistent with sleep and wake-up times, even on weekends
- The bedroom should be an environment for sleeping, try to keep noise and lights to a minimum
- Get a comfortable mattress and pillow
- Regular physical activity during the day will help with healthy metabolism and proper sleep
- Don’t eat just before the bed
- A relaxing shower or bath is a great sleep preparation activity
Understanding all of these issues caused by sleep deprivation, and the health benefits from sleeping, we can see how important sleep is. The issues of overall health and metabolism are of great importance. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, we are seriously jeopardizing health. Proper sleeping can help with that, but these tips may not be effective immediately as much as we would like them to be. Therefore we may also consider supplements that will protect our health before we can achieve healthy sleeping patterns. Bio-Pro Plus is a natural supplement that stimulates the natural production of T-cells, an essential part of your immune system, which are important in fighting inflammation and infection. Bio-Pro Plus is a 100% natural supplement that can help to keep us healthy, but we still must work on getting the right amount of healthy sleep in order to have a functional, productive and healthy life.