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Why Sleep Is So Important

A good night’s sleep really is so important for your health. In fact, it’s just as important as eating healthy and exercising.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can interfere with your natural sleep patterns and sometimes it feels like there’s not much that we can do about it. Today, with the worries of all the day-to-day stresses people have stopped prioritising sleep and having trouble getting a good nights sleep. In the post below, we’re going to take a look at why sleep is so important for us.

1. Poor sleep is linked to an increased body weight

Poor sleep is strongly linked to increased weight gain. In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Sleep can have such an effect on our weight because of how strongly it is linked to our hormones. It’s been proven that when people don’t sleep enough, the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain rises, activating reward centres in your brain that make you want food.

2. Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories

Recent studies show that sleep-deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more calories than those that sleep well. This is because sleep deprivation disrupts the appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation, leading to poor sleepers overeating during the day as well as often reaching for the wrong type of food. Think convenient, fatty foods.

3. Poor sleep is linked to depression

Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. Those with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without. So, getting enough sleep really is more important than you could even imagine.

4. Sleep can boost your immune system

When your body gets the sleep it needs, your immune cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off things like colds or the flu. And, there have also been studies showing that proper sleep can also make vaccines more effective, which if all we have to do is sleep for a bit longer to make this happen, then we’re more than willing to give it a go!

5. Sleep can increase productivity and concentration

Previous research has concluded that sleep is linked to several brain functions, including concentration, productivity and cognition. When you're tired, your mind has less energy to devote to simple things like processing sensory inputs. The technical term for this is vigilance. When you're tired, you're far less vigilant. But, when you get a good night's sleep, it's takes far less effort to focus on things and therefore, increases your productivity and concentration.

It is hard to ignore all of these positive signs of why getting more sleep can be beneficial for us. However, sometimes it’s not that we’re not prioritising it, it is just that we can’t get or stay asleep. If this is the case have a read of our blog post Sleep Tips: 6 Steps To A Better Sleep.

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