Why you should invest in your rest in 2021
Can you remember the last time you woke up feeling rested and refreshed? If the answer is no, you're not alone. There are many people today who would do anything for a good night’s sleep. In fact, 41% of people in America take sleep aids at least once a week to help them nod off.
Sleep is an essential part of our lives that allows our bodies and mind to recharge. However, work schedules and day-to-day stressors can often prevent us from receiving enough sleep. Whilst a healthy night's sleep can work wonders for our minds and bodies, an unhealthy routine can have a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair our ability to concentrate, process thoughts and memories and fight off potentially life-threatening diseases.Often, implementing basic sleep techniques or investing in some high quality pillows or mattresses can have an immeasurable, positive impact on the quality and duration of our sleep.
Whilst focussing on improving your sleep quality may sound trivial to some, the power of a restful night’s sleep should never be underestimated. At Sleep Easy, we’re passionate about sleep health and helping you get the rest you deserve. Today, we’re here to share why investing your sleep is an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up on in 2021.
Healthy sleep strengthens your immune system
Getting a high quality night’s sleep enables our bodies to maintain a balanced immune defense that features strong innate and adaptive immunity to fight off viruses and diseases, efficient response to medical vaccines and less severe allergic reactions. As we sleep, our immune cells, known as T cells which fight against intracellular pathogens, e.g virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells are able to strengthen and rejuvenate.
In a recent sleep study, researchers compared T cells from healthy volunteers who either slept or stayed awake all night. They found that in the study participants who slept, their T cells showed higher levels of integrin activation than in the T cells of those who were awake. The findings indicate that sleep has the potential to improve T cell functioning.
A good night’s sleep improves concentration and productivity
Struggling to concentrate throughout the day? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Udemy, nearly 3 out of 4 workers (70 percent) admit they feel distracted whilst working throughout the day, with 16 percent asserting that they're almost always distracted.
When we don't get enough sleep, our attention and concentration abilities decline dramatically. Our reaction time lengthens, we’re inattentive, and we don't respond as well to environmental signals. That means we can't take in new information or react to dangerous situations. This can be especially worrisome for those driving cars for example, or operating heavy machinery. Getting enough hours of high-quality sleep fosters attention and concentration and supports numerous other aspects of thinking including memory, problem-solving, creativity, emotional processing, and judgement.
Mounting evidence also suggests that a good night's sleep seriously boosts productivity. For example, a study of 4,188 workers found "significantly worse productivity, performance, and safety outcomes" among those who slept less, and estimated a $1,967 loss in productivity per worker due to poor sleep. So whether you’re looking to maximise your work productivity or improve your daily concentration levels - a good night’s sleep is a golden investment.
Your entire day depends upon how good you sleep
Noone wants to wake up in a bad mood - or let that bad mood ruin their entire day - we’ve all been there. Luckily, a good night’s sleep can help prevent this. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. Research suggests that sleep deprivation enhances negative mood due to increased amygdala activity (a brain structure integral to experiences of negative emotions such as anger and rage) and a disconnect between the amygdala and the area of the brain that regulates its functions.
In other words: sleep loss leads to increased negative mood, and a decreased ability to regulate that anger. A recent sleep study, reported that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted throughout the day. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.
Poor sleepers have a greater risk of life-threatening illnesses
It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is essential for both our minds and bodies , but did you know that poor sleep quality and failing to sleep enough can actually drive chronic illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and depression? Yep, it’s true. Not getting enough sleep can have profound consequences on a daily and potentially long-term basis for your health and mental well-being. In fact, a review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7–8 hours per night.
Considering the many potential adverse health effects of insufficient sleep, it is not surprising that poor sleep is also associated with lower life expectancy. According to a recent study by Harvard medical school, sleeping five hours or less per night increases mortality risk from all causes by roughly 15%! If, like us, you were shocked by this figure, why not make your sleep routine a priority in 2021.
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