Sleep is essential for both a healthy body and a healthy mind. It makes us feel better, more alert and more energetic. We can also concentrate better on carrying out our daily tasks. But exactly how does sleep work? We’ll explain it to you!
1. SLEEP HAS A STRESS-REDUCING EFFECT
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more stress hormone (cortisol). This makes you feel anxious and stressed more easily. Your body is in a state of readiness for a prolonged period of time. Ready to fight or flee at any moment. This causes high blood pressure, which in turn increases the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Cortisol also makes it harder for you to fall asleep. It is therefore a vicious cycle: when you sleep too little, you produce more cortisol, which in turn prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. How do you break this cycle? Try using relaxation methods such as yoga or meditation.
If this doesn’t help and you just can’t seem to get enough sleep, always consult your doctor.
2. SLEEP IMPROVES CONCENTRATION
A good night’s sleep is important for all kinds of brain functions, such as thinking, concentration, productivity and performance. During your sleep, your body gets some well deserved rest and your brain processes the events of the day before. You make connections, process sensory input, feelings and memories.
So when you sleep well, you can process things better. This makes it easier for you to carry out your daily tasks and makes you more alert. A good night’s sleep also reduces the risk of accidents and mistakes. Finally, we are also more social when we have slept well. What more could you ask for?
3. SLEEP HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
Yeah, you read that right! Research has shown that sleep helps with losing weight.
People who sleep for less than 7 hours a night, run a higher risk of being overweight. Too little sleep is also the biggest risk factor for obesity. Sleep affects the hormone that regulates your appetite. When you sleep well, you feel less hungry.
4. SLEEP IS GOOD FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Sleep gives your body time to recover. During the day, your immune system is often put to the test. Stress, colds, viruses, ultraviolet radiation: these are all attacks on your immune system. When you sleep, your immune system is given time to recharge itself for the next day.
Sleep also reduces the chance of inflammation in your body. Inflammations can cause heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
5. SLEEP HAS A POSITIVE EFFECT ON YOUR MOOD AND SOCIAL INTERACTIONS
A bad night’s sleep affects your ability to communicate socially. You are less able to recognise social signals and process emotional information. Everything in your body is screaming for sleep. You don’t feel like having socially responsible conversations and just want to go back to bed. That’s why it’s important to just sometimes go to bed an hour earlier, instead of watching television.
It is also important for your mood to sleep well. A lack of sleep makes you tired and irritable. If this bad sleep persists, it can even cause depression. So monitor this carefully and always try to get enough sleep!