Who doesn’t want to sleep? All animals need sleep. Six hours of sleep a day is important for the food you eat and the amount of exercise you do in a day. Poor sleep can lead to low concentration with low productivity the next day. Thus, sleeping at least 6 to 8 hours a day is necessary. You may not need as much sleep as you think, but you may need better sleep. If you eat well and exercise regularly, but don’t get at least seven hours of sleep every night, all your efforts will be wasted. Many of us are sleep-deprived. Everyone feels better after a good night’s rest. Doctors have found evidence that genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors help determine how much sleep you need for optimal health and daily performance. Sleep is necessary for the body to function properly – for tissue and muscles to rest, the immune system to recharge, the cardiovascular system to slow down, and the metabolism to keep in rhythm. Getting your mind to work is important: it helps the brain declutter and consolidate important information learned during the day. “Sleep is one of our most basic functions, and it’s important because staying awake is so energy-consuming and stressful,” says Sarah Mednick, Ph.D., a researcher at the university’s Mednick Sleep and Cognition Lab. California, says Irvine.
See here 7 shocking things that happen when someone sleeps less than 6 hours
1. Cardiovascular problems
Lack of sleep is not good for your heart health, as it can cause cardiovascular problems like irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack and heart failure. According to an analysis published in the European Heart Journal, short sleep and long sleep have been shown to harm heart health. In particular, your chances of having coronary heart disease or stroke are greatly increased with less sleep.
“Those who fail to get a good night’s sleep can suffer from anxiety and depression,” says the doctor. In a study published by Experimental Brain Research, a group of 18 men were given a task to complete. The first task was completed after a full night’s sleep. After a good night’s sleep, the next task was completed. Brain functions including memory, decision-making, reasoning, and problem-solving deteriorate, along with reaction time and alertness. Unfortunately, sleep and anxiety can be a bit of a vicious circle. Lack of sleep causes anxiety, but anxiety can cause lack of sleep. Anxiety can hurt your body’s ability to sleep because your brain is in “fight or flight” mode, thinking about all the possible outcomes that can cause anxiety.
3. Menstrual irregularities
Lack of sleep can wreak havoc with thyroid hormones, causing problems for those with periods. Thyroid-stimulating hormone levels increase during sleep deprivation and, in healthy young women in their follicular phase, are associated with significant increases in TSH levels. High levels of TSH lead to menstrual irregularities, anovulation, amenorrhea, and recurrent miscarriages.
4. Weight gain
While we sleep, hormones such as cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin are regulated – hormones that are important in weight control. Lack of sleep reduces the level of these hormones in the blood. Many doctors say that prolonged lack of sleep can lead to increased appetite, overeating, and weight gain. Those who do not sleep well are more likely to be obese. One study examined the relationship between sleep and weight in 21,469 adults over the age of 20. Throughout a three-year study, people who slept less than 5 hours per night were more likely to gain weight and eventually become obese.
5. Loss of productivity
It’s a small thing to hear but a huge problem. If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re less productive during the day. That means you cannot work properly at your workplace. A US study found that employees who slept an average of five hours a night lost 2.22 days of work per year, compared to 1.48 for those who got eight hours. Lack of sleep negatively affects everything we need to do our jobs well: cognitive performance, decision-making, memory, and attention span.’ Due to lack of sleep, you will not be able to make decisions effectively.
6. You forget the point
Researchers suggest that sleep is critical to the process of consolidating what we learn in the brain. In other words, we need proper rest to lock in new information and commit it to memory. Losing sleep can make you more forgetful, but there’s a growing body of research that suggests sleep can influence learning and memory. Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think, remember, and process information. Lack of sleep hurts your brain, which affects your memory and retention. The more you sleep, the more likely you are to retain things, because, in your sleep, your mind goes over everything you read while you are awake. This process is called consolidation. Thus, a maximum amount of sleep helps in better retention of what you have learned during the day.
7. Your skin will dry out.
When we sleep poorly, our skin loses its glow. In one study, a group of people aged 30 to 50 were evaluated based on their sleep habits and the condition of their skin. The results revealed that those who slept too little had more fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and skin laxity. Aging can cause many people over the age of 65 to struggle with sleep due to various health issues.
While the benefits of at least six hours of sleep are immense, you should take the time to give your body the rest it deserves. Nowadays, we use so many electronic devices, including mobiles, that keep our minds humming at night – and stay away from them before bed. Our ancestors have given us valuable assets like Yoga and pranayama. Regular practice of these can lead to better sleep. In our society, nowadays, people are not getting enough sleep. Although the reasons are many, sleep is essential. Anyway, whatever. Health is the most important thing, without it everything is nothing. If we do yoga, pranayama, good sleep, and diet, our lives will be better.