Just like dental or personal hygiene, sleep hygiene is a set of rituals that you implement each day to get great sleep at night and feel alert and refreshed during the day. Everyone can benefit from putting good sleep hygiene practices to use because it yields higher quality sleep that you can count on every night.
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health, improving productivity and overall quality of life. Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from better sleep, and sleep hygiene can play a key part in achieving that goal.
Help Prevent Weight Gain
Racking up eight full hours of sleep isn’t going to result in losing the lbs. by itself, but it can help your body from packing on the pounds. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that boosts appetite. Your body also decreases the production of leptin, a hormone that tells you you’re full. Put ’em both together and that’s one dangerous combo for late-night snacking, my friend. Plus, when you don’t sleep enough you get more stressed and don’t have the energy to fight off junk food cravings. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.
When you’re running low on sleep, you’ll probably have trouble holding onto and recalling details. That’s because sleep plays a big part in both learning and memory. Without enough sleep, it’s tough to focus and take in new information. Your brain also doesn’t have enough time to properly store memories so you can pull them up later. Sleep lets your brain catch up so you’re ready for what’s next.
Sleep Can Strengthen Your Heart
Not getting enough sleep can lead to heart health problems like high blood pressure or heart attacks. That’s because lack of sleep can cause your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers your heart to work harder. Just like your immune system, your heart needs rest in order to function powerfully and properly. Just another reason to “heart” sleep.
Another thing that your brain does while you sleep is processed your emotions. Your mind needs this time in order to recognize and react the right way. When you cut that short, you tend to have more negative emotional reactions and fewer positive ones. Chronic lack of sleep can also raise the chance of having a mood disorder. One large study showed that when you have insomnia, you’re five times more likely to develop depression, and your odds of anxiety or panic disorders are even greater
While you sleep, your blood pressure goes down, giving your heart and blood vessels a bit of a rest. The less sleep you get, the longer your blood pressure stays up during a 24-hour cycle. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, including stroke. Short-term downtime can have long-term payoffs.
You may think you’re wowing your boss by burning the midnight oil, but putting off a good night’s rest could be having an adverse effect at work or school. In fact, sleep has been linked to improved concentration and higher cognitive function, both of which can help you be successful at work. But one restless night can leave you feeling frazzled, making it more likely that you’ll make mistakes that a pot of coffee won’t be able to fix. Speaking of coffee, the more tired you feel, the more likely you are to reach for that afternoon cup. And while that may seem to fix the afternoon crash problem you experience, the extra caffeine late in the day could set you up for another sleepless night. Talk about a counterproductive cycle.