What I am about to tell you isn’t going to blow your mind, you have heard it countless times throughout your life and you will hear it countless more. SLEEP IS GOOD FOR YOU… There isn’t any new science here folks, this is just plain ol common sense that the more you have an established sleep schedule of 7 hours or more the better off you are.
The real problem is that most of us know this vital piece of information to healthy living, yet very few of us practice it. So today we are going to cover the top 5 reasons (brought to you by Healthline) why getting those 7+ hours could literally be the difference between life and death!
1. Poor Sleepers Have a Greater Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
- It’s known that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors.
- These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease.
- A review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 7–8 hours per night (15).
2. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
- Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain.
- People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep (1, 2).
- In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
- In one extensive review study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively (3).
- The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise (4).
- If you’re trying to lose weight, getting quality sleep is absolutely crucial.
3. Sleep Affects Glucose Metabolism and Type 2 Diabetes Risk
- Experimental sleep restriction affects blood sugar and reduces insulin sensitivity (16, 17).
- In a study in healthy young men, restricting sleep to four hours per night for six nights in a row caused symptoms of pre-diabetes (18).
- These symptoms resolved after one week of increased sleep duration.
- Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population.
- Those sleeping less than six hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (19, 20).
4. Poor Sleep Is Linked to Increased Inflammation
- Sleep can have a major effect on inflammation in your body.
- In fact, sleep loss is known to activate undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage.
- Poor sleep has been strongly linked to long-term inflammation of the digestive tract, in disorders known as inflammatory bowel diseases (26, 27).
- One study observed that sleep-deprived people with Crohn’s disease were twice as likely to relapse as patients who slept well (28).
- Researchers are even recommending sleep evaluation to help predict outcomes in individuals with long-term inflammatory issues (27).
5. Sleep Improves Your Immune Function
- Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function (24).
- One large two-week study monitored the development of the common cold after giving people nasal drops with the cold virus (25).
- They found that those who slept less than seven hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours or more.
- If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. Eating more garlic can help as well.
These are just some of the few reasons why sleep is so crucial for daily function and for living a long and healthy lifestyle! Are you having trouble sleeping or can’t seem to get enough rest? Click on the link below for sleeping tips brought to you by the National Sleep Foundation.