Some people can function perfectly fine on just 5 hours sleep per night. But the question is, should you be getting more sleep? Even if you feel fine sleeping for short amounts of time, it could be damaging your health. Here’s a couple of the benefits of getting more sleep and why you should actually treat yourself to those couple more hours in bed.
1. It keeps you trim
Not getting enough sleep can improve your chances of putting on weight significantly. A lot of it comes down to behavioural, if you haven’t slept enough your body naturally craves the highest calorie foods to keep itself going. Which makes sense, if you’re not giving yourself the energy you need from sleeping, your body will find the energy somewhere else. It also comes down to the hormone Leptin. Leptin plays a key role in making you feel full and when you don’t sleep enough, Leptin levels drop. Making you feel hungrier than if you’d spent that extra hour in bed.
When you don’t get enough sleep, chances are you wake up feeling fuzzy headed and just generally not with it. This is because your brain needs to essentially put all the thoughts from the day before into ‘files’ whilst your sleeping. If it doesn’t have enough time to do that, you basically haven’t reset for the new day. Leaving you feeling fuzzy headed & unable to think straight. Studies show that people that are sleep deprived are substantially worse at solving math or logical problems than when they’re well rested. They’re also more likely to make odd mistakes like putting the milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge.
3. Better immunity
Your body is a really well-oiled machine and when one thing is not up to scratch, nothing is. Catching up on those much-needed Z’s will give your body a much greater chance at fighting off things like the common cold before it really kicks in. Studies show that people who got 7 hours or less sleep per night who were then exposed to the common cold virus were 3 times as likely to get ill than those who got 8 hours or more.
4. A better mood
Ever noticed how grouchy you are when you wake up from a poor nights sleep? It’s almost impossible to shake that mood throughout the day too. It’s because our brains need a good nights sleep to produce the chemicals that keep us happy. People who sleep less are especially likely to react negatively to situations. Getting those extra Z’s will definitely help towards improving your overall mood. It’s a lot easier to see the positives in life you’ve got good nights sleep behind you.
5. Fewer heart problems
What’s more important than your heart? It keeps us going and we should do everything we can to keep it going, too. A study showed that sleeping five hours or less a night was associated with a 45% increased risk of heart attacks. Keeping people awake increases their blood pressure — even healthy young men who have one bad night of only 3.6 hours of sleep show significant temporary changes. So next time you’re debating if you really need that lie in, treat yourself! It could prolong your life.