Nowadays everyone knows that a balanced diet and physical exercise are fundamental pillars for a healthy life, but how many people are really aware of the importance of sleep in their health? What would you think if you knew that sleep could be even more important than eating healthy and doing sport?
The science of sleep still has many unknowns to solve but what sleep experts are clear about is the tremendous impact that our sleeping and sleeping habits have on our physical and mental health.
Scientists recommend getting a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep each day to reap the full benefits. The truth is that not everyone reaches this range and sooner or later begins to suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation.
In today’s article we tell you 5 of the most important health benefits of a good night’s sleep and also 5 simple habits that you can incorporate into your sleep routine to sleep better and fall asleep faster.
What impact does my sleep quality have on my health?
Sleep has countless benefits for the mind and body. In fact, we could live many days without eating, but we couldn’t go a third of the way without sleep.
Here are 5 of the main benefits of providing us with quality sleep
1 Strengthens our immune system and reduces the risk of serious illness
Now that we are in a time of pandemic, we value more than ever the importance of having a strong immune system. A quality sleep is the best way to boost our immune system. Therefore, we can say that a good night’s sleep is the best way to prevent any disease and the best medicine to cure us when we are sick.
In fact, recent research has shown that sleep reduces the risk of suffering from diseases as serious as cancer, cardiovascular disease or Alzheimer’s, among others.
2 Helps us control our weight
There is a direct relationship between sleep and metabolism.
A single bad night’s sleep causes us to be hungrier the next day and, even worse, to crave unhealthy foods. If lack of sleep becomes chronic, we run the risk of taking in more calories than we need daily and over time, triggering diseases as serious as obesity or type II diabetes.
Sleep is also vitally important for increasing muscle mass.
If for example you are making a diet and exercise plan to lose weight, sleeping between 7 and 9 hours a day can be your best ally to achieve your goals.
3 It is the best beauty treatment
Sleeping well is the best proven beauty treatment, as well as being the most economical. It should be the closest thing to the fountain of youth. Much more effective than any anti-wrinkle cream or any revitalizing vitamin treatment.
According to dermatologists, a quality dream:
- Prevents wrinkles: our skin produces new collagen while we sleep. Sleep is the best way to avoid skin flaccidity.
- Prevents bags and dark circles under the eyes: these marks are the most noticeable when we do not sleep well and also one of the most unsightly
- Promotes a radiant complexion: your body increases blood flow to the skin while you sleep. If you don’t sleep well, your skin may look dull or lifeless.
According to a study of 25 women aged about 25-30 (some with lack of sleep and others with normal sleep), the faces of sleep-deprived people were perceived to have more drooping eyelids, redder eyes, puffier eyes, darker circles under the eyes, paler skin and more wrinkles than women who slept properly.
4 Increases productivity, improves our ability to learn and memorize
Whether you’re working, studying in college or preparing for a competition, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to mental performance and to maintaining concentration and encouraging creativity.
I’m sure you’ve heard many times that instead of studying the day before an exam, the best thing you can do is sleep. Well, that’s absolutely true!
Sleep helps you remember what is important and forget what is banal. It also helps you learn new concepts and assimilate what you have learned.
5 The best energy supplement to reach everything
Sleep is the best way to recover our energy. Nowadays we live in a frenetic rhythm and we usually combine a frenetic activity with an inappropriate rest. That’s when we accumulate fatigue, don’t get to everything and get stressed out.
A good night’s sleep gives us enough energy to work, take care of our children, play sports and successfully complete the many household tasks of our day-to-day lives. As if that weren’t enough, it also improves our mood, something that also influences our energy level.
How can I improve my quality of sleep?
Now that you know how important it is to sleep well in order to be strong and healthy, it only remains to know some simple tricks to improve our sleep. Here are 5 easy tips that you can incorporate into your routine to help you sleep better and fall asleep faster. Take note!
1 The importance of schedules
Experts agree that in order to sleep well, one of the most important factors is to maintain a constant schedule, that is, to get up and go to bed at the same time.
We are creatures of habit and maintaining a constant sleep schedule helps us regulate our circadian rhythms.
If your current pace of life prevents you from following this rule to the letter, at least try not to vary your schedule by more than two hours between one day and another or between the weekend and the rest.
2 Avoiding stimulants in the afternoon
If you don’t sleep well, a good idea may be to avoid any type of stimulant in the afternoon. Something stimulating can be anything from drinking a cup of coffee after 4 p.m. to doing intense physical activity a few hours before going to bed.
Alcohol is also an enemy of sleep. Although many people believe that a glass of wine helps them sleep better, this is not really true. It can help you fall asleep faster, but when our body starts to eliminate alcohol in the early morning, it causes nighttime awakening and fragile sleep.
3 Light and temperature are crucial
A suitable sleeping environment should be cool and totally dark. Covering up too much or sleeping with high heating can worsen our quality of sleep. Sleeping with the TV or with the blind open can also cause light to block our natural production of melatonin (sleep hormone), making our sleep weak or difficult to fall asleep.
If you have trouble sleeping, avoid technology a few hours before bedtime and look for a cool, dark environment in your room that promotes healthy sleep.
4 What and when you eat dinner is also important
At night we do not tolerate food in the same way. Digestions can become heavier and hinder our sleep. Eating too much and too late also hinders sleep.
To sleep well, it is preferable to have a light dinner and at least two hours before going to bed. It is also recommended to avoid ultraprocessed, sweet desserts and / or sugary drinks.
5 Natural Remedies for Sleep
You may try all of the above and still have trouble sleeping. We all go through times of worry, stress or anxiety. In those cases it can be necessary an extra help to sleep but, it tries to avoid the anxiolytics as much as possible, only to resort to them like last resource and always under the supervision of a professional.
Before getting to that, there are a multitude of natural options to try. For example, taking a natural supplement of melatonin, an infusion of valerian, doing a guided sleep meditation or using aromatherapy as a relaxant can be a simple and effective solution to improve your quality of sleep.
As you can see, there are simple changes that do not involve much effort but can make a difference.
Give sleep the importance it deserves and spend some time improving your sleep routine, you will see your health and your life improve!