5 Essential Health Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep

So we have already maintained a healthy diet and an exercise routine. But if we do not match them with enough sleep hour every day, then we’re wasting all of our healthy lifestyle efforts. The time and quality of sleep play an important role in the body’s health. This article describes health benefits of getting enough sleep and how to get enough sleep. Featured picture: Snappa
The time and quality of sleep play an important role in the body's health. Health benefits of getting enough sleep.

Picture 1. A Sleeping Woman (Pixabay)

 
Why do we need enough sleep?
We determine enough sleep by the number of sleep hours (quantity of sleep). But other than that, we also determine it by the depth of sleep (sleep quality). Recent scientific studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause significant health problems. The lack of sleep can increase our risk of developing some serious health problems. Those problems range from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, sleep apnea, to premature death.
Sleep is essential to life. Laboratory animals deprived of sleep die. And humans don’t seem to be immune to the life-threatening effects of sleeplessness.

Here are the recommended sleep duration according to age categories:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day 
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours 
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours 
  • School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours 
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours 
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours 
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

Processes occur in the body when we are sleeping:

What happens to the body during sleep? 

1. The heart and breathing rate slows

When we fall asleep, heartbeat and breathing will be slower than usual. It brings the peace of mind.

2. Body temperature declines

Body temperature has a major role in regulating circadian rhythms. It determines whether our body is ready to sleep or wake. According to Alaska Sleep Clinic researchers, during sleep, the body temperature will decline. So the body can save energy for other functions rather than to maintain normal body temperature. The body undergoes the natural detoxification and cells regeneration while we are sleeping.
Have you ever woke up startled or like falling? You may think it is a sleep disorder. Researchers assess this as a natural thing. This happens because there is a hypnagogic process, the transition between wakefulness and sleep.

4. Increased production of collagen in the skin

Hormone released when we sleep helps stimulate collagen growth. It helps to increase the elasticity of the skin and strengthens blood vessels. That is why people suffering from lack of sleep have dull and unfresh-looking skin. Read more about foods that build collagen and elastin here.

5. Reset body and mind

When we are sleeping the body and mind reset. Sleeping protects and restores the physical and mental health. The brain will release hormones that encourage the growth of tissue and help recovery such as muscle pain.

6. Weight loss

When we wake up after sleeping our body weight will be lighter. This happens because during sleep the body loses carbon and water vapor.

Picture 2. A Woman Is Checking Her Body Weight After Sleeping (Unsplash)

 

Sleep types

We can classify the type of sleep into two categories:
  1. Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM), and
  2. Rapid Eye Movement (REM)

Sleep Cycle

First comes NREM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep. Then the cycle starts over again.

Pre-sleep

A presleep condition is where someone is still in a conscious state, but the desire to sleep grows. For example, someone goes into the bedroom and lies on the mattress or settles their body and relaxes their muscles, but not sleep. He begins to feel sleepy, then that person is entering stage I of NREM sleep.

1. NREM sleep

In NREM sleep there are slower brain waves compared to people who are conscious. Signs of NREM sleep among others are the drop in blood pressure, breathing rate slows down, the muscle relaxes, metabolism slows down, and the eyeball movement is slower.
 

There are three stages of NREM 

Each stage characterized by changes of patterns in brain wave activity.
 

2. REM sleep

In this stage, one can sleep sound, but the movement of his eyes are very active. The indicators are a dream, saggy muscles, blood pressure increases, rapid eye movements, gastric secretion increase, penis erection, as well as the temperature and metabolism increased. Signs of people experiencing REM sleep loss are hyperactivity, uncontrollable emotions, increased appetite, confusion, and suspicion.

 

First comes NREM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep. Then the cycle starts over again.Sleep for seven to eight hours can make us experience all stage of sleep. Two phases of sleep, REM and slow wave sleep hurry the process of remembering and thinking. People who sleep less will experience some of the things that can interfere with memory

Picture 3. Sleep Cycle

The cycle continues as long as the person is sleeping. But, the turn of this cycle no longer starts from the beginning of sleep, i.e. presleep and stage I, but the second stage to the next stage of the first cycle. This cycle ends when the person awake from his sleep.
Quality Of Sleep

Quality of sleep is the measure at which a person can easily initiate and maintain sleep. We can describe the quality of one’s sleep with sleep duration and grievances felt during sleep or waking up.

Factors that affect the quality of sleep:

The needs of sleep for each person is different. Several factors influence whether a person can sleep or not, including the following:
 

a. Health status

Someone who is healthy can sleep well. Meanwhile, for someone who is unhealthy, his sleep will not be sound.
 

b. Environment

Our sleeping environment can improve or reduce our sleep quality. A clean environment with cold temperature, quiet atmosphere, and not too bright lighting will make the person sleep well. And vice versa: if the environment is dirty, has a hot temperature, crowded, and has very bright illumination, our sleep quality will be poor.
  
The environment can improve or hinder a person to sleep. In a clean environment with cold temperature, not rowdy atmosphere (quiet), and the lighting is not too light will make the person fall asleep well. And vice versa if the environment is dirty, temperature hot, crowded and very bright illumination, can affect the quality of sleep. health benefits of getting enough sleep

Picture 4. Good environment for sleeping

 

c. Psychological stress

Anxiety and depression will cause interference with the frequency of sleep. This is because the state of anxiety will increase norepinephrine in blood through the nervous system sympathetic. Norepinephrine increases arousal and alertness.

d. Lifestyle

  • Obesity: That extra weight on the body can result in problems like joint pain and arthritis. Being obese doesn’t only contribute to increased pain. But also presents other sleep issues such as obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Physical activity: Many chronic back pain sufferers worry that exercising will only make pain worse. In reality, the opposite is actually true. Regular exercise, stretching, and strengthening programs can promote the body’s natural healing process. It makes you feel better. As a bonus, it will make it easier to fall asleep at night.
  • Nutrition: Improving our diet is a high priority for a good night’s sleep. Eat more protein during the day and select carbohydrates in the evening. That may help regulate sleep, wakefulness and energy levels. As a general rule, don’t eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. The foods contain the much L-Tryptophan such as cheese, milk, meat and tuna fish can cause person easy to sleep. Instead of beverages containing caffeine or alcohol that disrupts sleep. Read more about the high L-Tryptophan foods here.
The foods contain the much L-Tryptophan such as cheese, milk, meat and tuna fish can cause person easy to sleep. Instead of beverages containing caffeine or alcohol that disrupts sleep.

Picture 5. Milk And Cheese (Pixabay)

 

e. Drug and alcohol

Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause sleep problems. The severity of sleep problems caused by a drug will vary from person to person.

Alcohol increases the number of times you awaken in the latter half of the night. It is when the alcohol’s relaxing effect wears off. It prevents you from getting the deep sleep you need. Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep.
Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can cause sleep problems. The severity of sleep problems caused by a drug will vary from person to person.

Picture 6. Drugs (Unsplash)

 

What are the health benefits of getting enough sleep?

Before reading more, let us watch a video below:
[VIDEO]
 

1. Boost the immune system

When we sleep, the immune system will release compounds called cytokines. These compounds have a protective effect on our immune system. The compounds help fight inflammation and infection. Without enough sleep, we may not have enough cytokines to hinder us from getting sick.
 
A study conducted in 2013. The sleeping hour reduction increase inflammatory compounds in the body. This condition is the same as when we have asthma or allergies.

 

2. Improve memory

Our brain is actually very active during sleep doing important things. It is not just resting. If we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t function on a number of levels the way we should.
Do you often feel that you’re forgetful? Well, it could be because of your lack of sleep. The reason, one of the benefits of sleep is that it can strengthen our mind. A study showed that sleep after learning can help improve memory. If we do not get enough sleep, we will tend to forget about things that once we passed earlier.
Sleep for seven to eight hours can make us experience all stage of sleep. Two phases of sleep, REM and slow wave sleep hurry the process of remembering and thinking. People who sleep less will experience some of the things that can interfere with memory. 
Among them:
  • It’s hard to get information because the neurons in the brain work too hard.
  • Tend to interpret events differently.
  • Tend to lose the ability to remember certain information.
Are you feel often forget? Well, it could be because of your lack of sleep. The reason, one of the benefits of sleep is that it can strengthen our mind. A study showed that sleep after learning can help improve memory. If we do not get enough sleep, we will tend to forget about things that once we passed earlier.

Picture 7. Neuron Illustration (Pixabay)

3. Sleeping enough can lengthen life expectancy

 
Too much or too little sleep is associated with a person’s life expectancy. Many things influence it such as diseases. One of the important factors is sleeping. Enough sleep hours and sleep quality were instrumental in extending our lifespan.
 
Researchers in The United Kingdom and Italy have proved it. They have analyzed data from 16 separate studies conducted over 25 years. The study involved more than 1.3 million people to see their sleep habits. They published the result in the journal Sleep.
 
Surprising facts show that people who sleep less than six hours a night tend to be at risk of early death by 12 percent. They also found that people who reduced sleep from seven hours to five hours or less had 1.7 times the risk of early death. People who slept more than eight to nine hours per night had an even higher risk, at 30 percent. It indicates that one of the benefits of enough sleep is to lengthen life expectancy.
Too much or too less sleep associated with a person's life expectancy. Many things influenced it such as diseases. One of the important factors is sleeping. Enough sleep hours and sleep quality were instrumental in extending our lifespan.  

Picture 8. An Elderly Woman (Unsplash)

 
4. Controlling appetite
 
When we sleep at night, our caloric needs reduce because of the lack of movement. This makes the need for energy to decrease. But, when we lack sleep, the brain organ will lower levels of leptin, a hormone that creates a feeling of satiety. As a result, we become easily hungry.
 
Then, we will meet the energy needs of the body. In the end, we decide to eat more. This will exacerbate if we lack exercise so our weight is getting out of control.
 
Not only for adults, lack of sleep can also affect children’s health. A study in 2014 showed that children who sleep less are at risk of obesity and increased body mass index (BMI). If allowed to continue, these effects will continue until they are adults. To find out the ideal body mass index, use this BMI calculator.
 

5. Ageless Appearance

Sleep does more than eliminating fatigue. When we’re sleeping, the functions connected to the health of our skin. Also our blood circulation, metabolism, immune system, and hormonal system. The body restores to its full power.

Lack of sleep ages our skin. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.

Read more about how to look younger at over 40 years old here.

And read more about foods that build collagen and elastin here.

How to get enough sleep? 

The difficulty of getting enough sleep is usually influenced by several factors. Either because he was busy playing gadget, excessive anxiety, or stress. Well, here are some tips to get enough sleep every day, among them:
 

1. Create a sleep schedule 

Try to sleep and wake up at the same time every day of the week, including weekends. It is useful to establish our sleep cycle.
 

2. Avoid foods that trigger sleep disorders 

Such as caffeine, chocolate, nicotine, and alcohol.
 

3. Create a comfortable sleeping atmosphere

For example by setting the cooling room temperature. Turn off the lights to create a tranquil environment.
 

4. Exercise regularly

Avoid exercise too close to bedtime because it can keep you awake.
 

5. Reduce stress

Experiencing stress after a long day often makes us difficult to sleep. We can do yoga, meditation, massage, or a stroll to reduce stress.

6. Drink ginger water

Ginger can help us to fall asleep. Grate fresh ginger, about one tsp and pour hot water over it. It’s so soothing.

7. Use suitable essential oils

Lack of sleep can cause medical problems, fatigue and lack of energy. Aromatherapy can help to overcome the problem of insomnia. So the patients can have sound and quality sleep. 

Agarwood, benzoin, cedarwood, chamomile, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, neroli, Roman chamomile, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils overcome insomnia disorderRead more about benefits of aromatherapy massage here.

 

Agarwood, benzoin, cedarwood, chamomile, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, neroli, Roman chamomile, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils overcome insomnia disorder.

Picture 9. Frankincense (Pixabay)

What is your experience in getting enough sleeping hour? Do you have any trouble sleeping? Please comment on the column below and I will be more than happy to reply your comment.
If you have a problem in getting enough sleeping, this essential oil can help to solve your problem. Feel free to check out the link connected with the picture below: 
Please share this article if you find it is useful by clicking the picture below. Sharing is caring. Thank you.

53 Replies to “5 Essential Health Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep”

  1. I remember when I had massive sleep issues. I could not fall asleep, and when I did, I always woke up more tired than when I went to bed. Took me a complete diet-change to fix that. I usually sleep around 6 hours a night now, and I have never felt this great. Something that helped me over the past few years is drinking ginger tea before I go to bed. I grate fresh ginger, about one tsp and pour hot water over it. It’s so soothing!

  2. As a lactation specialist I have to remind my parents about infant sleep patterns. Getting them (parents) to understand their own sleep patterns helps a lot. Personally, I use a mixture of hot water, ginger and lemon a hour or so before bed to help relax me and putting my phone down 😉

  3. Wow this was very interesting! I never knew that so much could go on while you’re sleeping, definitely something to keep in mind.
    xo, Sondra
    cuisineandtravel.com

  4. This is such an interesting article. I was surprised indeed to know that people who sleep less than six hours a night tend to be at risk of early death by 12 percent. I mean, that’s really high! Thanks for the “how to get enough sleep” ideas. 🙂

  5. I definitely feel my best when getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Anything less than that and I am one grumpy gal. This was a really interesting post and I learned alot!

  6. My son just turned 6 weeks so reading this makes me teary I so need my sleep back with all the deprivation lately. My skin does need it.

    1. Ha ha ha. I fully understand your feeling. I have passed that experience four times until now. Maybe I will experience it again when my daughters give birth, lol. Being a mother is a great blessing. God gives us the strength. Try to sleep when your son sleeping. That is the way so that you can get enough sleeping.

  7. I seriously consider sleep a hobby because I love it so much. If I don’t get a proper night’s sleep, I don’t feel well. I know that more than a glass of wine impacts my sleep (that doesn’t always stop me). Sleep is so critical. I always wonder how people can only need a few hours a night. Not me. That will never be me.

  8. I always feel better when I sleep enough which means about 6-7 hours but when you are a parent it’s quite difficult. I believe that sleeping the exact time can change a lot in our life

  9. This is all so interesting to learn. My infant is on a no-sleep kick lately so she takes cat naps all day and night so I sleep when I can but I am living on coffee right now.

  10. Before I even read the rest of this article I was just thinking how essential oils have helped me. Also some good herbals teas will put you in some amazing sleep as well.

  11. i love this! so imformative and i can consider alot of this to help me get healthier. i recently just had a baby and have been tryin to get my body, health, nutrition back to normal and its been so hard.

    1. Being a mother is not easy, but it makes us very happy. The baby is the most important to be considered. If you are breastfeeding the baby it would be better if you are not doing a strict diet now.

  12. Such a great informative post about sleep! It’s such an important thing, I know whenever I don’t get enough it turns my day upside down!

    1. Me too. I can’t open my eyes properly in the morning when I don’t get enough sleep at night. I can sleep on my chair to pay the lack of sleep, lol. Our body knows how to be healthy. We should listen to the body.

  13. oh sleep sweet sleep, i need to really get better on my sleeping habits (have improved a bit about sleeping earlier in the past few weeks finally but still ways to go ) s thanks for the tips and push

  14. This was a must read right now because I’ve been staying up way too late. I used to get at least 8-9 hours and now it’s been 6-7. It’s tike to retrain my body to fall asleep earlier!

    1. You are right. We often want to do many things in the night. Me too. But then I remember my health and I don’t want to look older so I go to sleep and forget the to-do list, lol.

  15. sigh, as an adult I wish i could just barely 7 hour of sleep. Instead, everyday I just binge on coffee in the morning and afternoon. I wonder how and when will i have enough sleep. It affects my mood a lot!

  16. Hi Melani,
    I was wondering why I’ve been a little grumpier lately. I should’ve known… the lack of sleep is the problem.

    I usually go to bed at around 3 AM and wake up at around 8 AM. 5 hours of sleep is certainly not enough.

    The problem lies in my discipline and technology. I need to stay off the phone when I’m in bed.

    Thanks for the reminder,
    Eric

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