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Let your overall health go up with a sound eight hours of sleep

A good night’s sleep is critical to health because it helps your body repair itself and also helps you function normally during the day

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Get on a healthy sleep schedule to gain mental and physical health. The quality of your daily life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality and your weight management depends on the quantity and quality of sleep you are getting. If you are sleeping for less hours than required or you are not having a sound sleep, it can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental alertness and ability to handle stress. And over the long term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your overall health.

There are many health benefits of an eight hours deep sleep.

Increases the ability to think prudently: A good night’s sleep helps foster mental resilience. There are billions of neural cells working on our behalf, enabling us to think wisely, process information, and make decisions. Proper sleep activates this work and improves our mental performance.

Helps our brain to respond quickly: A proper sleep activates neural cell’s ability to absorb visual information and translate that visual data into conscious thoughts. So, it makes the reaction time of a person quicker and he responds rapidly.

Improved memory: Sleep is deeply critical to memory in all its phases from acquiring memories to storing them and recalling them. All phases of memory are complex and involve multiple areas of the brain that are affected by lack of sleep. So for an improved memory, a person requires a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Boosts creativity: When you are focused, fresh and full of concentration, your cognitive abilities work well. ‘REM’ sleep is the time when we dream most actively and vividly. You get REM in segments throughout night each time you move through complete sleep cycle. This mental fatigue opens up pathways of innovative thinking and they happen to everyone. If you cut short your sleep time, your risk of missing out on creativity increases.

Improved motivation: Getting more quality sleep can help improve your concentration, productivity and also keep you motivated.

Prevents depression: Having enough sound sleep sets the stage for positive thinking, emotional balance and strength. Proper sleep improves levels of hormones, including serotonin, dopamine and cortisol that affect thoughts, mood and energy. It also helps people with positive cognitive and mood effects.

Helps in energy balance: A bad sleep can lower your energy levels by making you feel fatigued during the day. Sleep at least eight hours a night. It supplies energy and recovers your body and mind after a long day.

Improves your ability to fight infections: During quiet sleep, a person goes through four stages of increasingly deep sleep. The deepest stage relaxes the muscles and produces physiological changes that help boost immune system functioning and fight infection.

Provides healthy and youthful skin: During deep sleep, the rise in growth hormones allows damaged cells to become repaired. It allows daily small breakdowns to heal and slows down the ageing process. While you are sleeping, the body’s hydration rebalances. Skin recovers moisture and excess water in the body is processed for removal. It leads to radiant and naturally beautiful skin.

Helps prevent type 2 diabetes: Diabetes causes sugar build up in your blood. Some studies show that a good night’s sleep may help people improve blood sugar control.

Provides strong immune system: A poor night’s sleep can impact your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flus. So sleep well to strengthen your immune system.

Reduces risk of serious health problems like Alzheimer’s disease and few cancers: Sleep is a time when your body restores things like DNA damage associated with cancer risk. During this time, the body controls the growth of cells turning certain genes and switching off others while promoting immune system. Lack of sleep increases your risk of a few cancers. A goodnight’s sleep sweeps away eta-amyloids protein accumulated in the brain, one of the hallmarks of the Alzheimer’s disease.

Helps in weight loss: Not getting enough sleep can cause fatigue, muscle loss and an inability to control the appetite along with the risk of obesity. Decrease in sleep increases the appetite. Individuals attempting to lose weight should also consider getting adequate amounts of sleep in addition to limiting calorie intake and increasing physical activity to improve the success of their weight loss programme.

If you would not have sufficient hours of restorative sleep, you would not be able to work to your true potential. Sleep is the time when your body shuts off but your brain continues to oversee the perfect maintenance of each body part and every body function so that you can get prepared for the day ahead. Good and sufficient sleep provides you with best of health and maximum output in whatever you do. The quantity of sleep you get is important but you really have to pay attention to the quality of your sleep too. If you have slept for eight hours a night but the quality of your sleep is poor, then you would not feel well rested when you wake up.

A healthy adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function at his best. Children and teens may need even more. Most old people need at least seven hours of sleep despite of the notion that sleep need decreases with age. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap. To figure out whether you are getting enough and sound sleep, just evaluate how you feel as you go about your day.