Sleep Science: Why you Need 7-8 Hours a Night – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 14-Jul-2020

Sleep does miracles to your body. It is a time when your health restoration is being acted upon without your knowledge. Hence, not discovering earlier the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep is a total massive loss.

There’s a scientific explanation of the inner workings of sleep. To better understand the value of this often-overlooked activity, here is a comprehensive list of why it is necessary to attain at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night.

Sleep can negatively or positively impact your immune system

Just a quick head start for everybody: Don’t sleep on the wonders of sleep!

Why? Well, firstly, every little cell and system in the body is connected. The length of a person’s sleep strongly influences how the immune system operates. A quality sleep of 7 to 8 hours a day helps ensure the robustness of the body’s immune system.

The magic of sleep happens when your brain delivers a message to your body for the release of certain hormones. These hormones, along with compounds like cytokines, condition your immune system against inflammations caused by infections.

Sleep can negatively or positively impact your immune system

When a person lacks sleep, a fewer number of cytokines, as well as white blood cells and antibodies, can less likely protect you from certain illnesses.

As the reduction happens, the aggression of other inflammatory compounds strengthens. Aside from that, there is little to no difference between long-term and short-term sleep deprivation. The effects on the body are similarly negative. Sleeping for an extended amount of time isn’t healthy either.

A longer life can be credited to sleep

Sleep-deprivation makes a person susceptible to severe bodily hurdles, even death.  An extensive study done in Italy and the United Kingdom illustrates a striking relation to the high risk of death and fewer sleep hours.

According to the research, people who sleep below the intended 7 to 8 hour-time increased the chances of premature death to 12℅. However, this does not solely concentrate on people who sleep for a lesser amount of time.

A longer life can be credited to sleep

It also indicates that people who sleep for a longer stretch of time, that is, more than eight to nine hours, likewise carry the risk of up to 30℅. Therefore, as previously mentioned above, sleeping for longer than the ideal is equally harmful to the body.

A mindful sleeping pattern has nevertheless its bag of rewards. Strikingly, one of them is longevity. Consistent training of good sleeping habits definitely goes a long way.

Your appetite is affected by how long you sleep

The effects of sleep also encompass a person’s hunger level. People who are used to sleeping late often grow the habit of eating more.

A moment of inadequacy in sleep activates the brain to discharge chemicals that cues hunger. Hence, the energy needs of one’s body magnify. This creates more room for food intake.

Your appetite is affected by how long you sleep

As a 2014 study observes, children who had poor sleeping patterns advanced the harm of getting obese, which can be consequential as they mature.

Preschoolers and elementary students usually need 11-12 hours and at least 10 hours, respectively, per day. The average hours of sleep for teenagers, on the other hand, runs from 9 to 10 hours.

Sleep is a major memory-booster

The great thing about getting enough sleep is reflected in your memory retention. Was there an occasion in your life where you looked and felt less focus, with higher degrees of slips and mistakes?

Sleep is a major memory-booster

Chances are, you’ve slept less the other night. It’s more difficult to access and remember information when you’re deprived of sleep.

Since your memory processing weakens, distractions easily prevail. If you’re interested in strengthening your memory, you only have to access the wondrous portal of miracles called sleep.

The serious harms of sleep-deprivation

Can you remember a time when you felt groggy, crappy, and restless as ever after a brief 4 or 5-hour sleep? Well, that’s exactly what happens when you lack sleep. It affects your overall mood of the day.

The serious harms of sleep-deprivation

There exists an obvious pattern for sleep-deprivation. It usually takes form in poor judgment, mood changes, less information retention caused by overfatigued neurons, inflammation, and worse, from mild to critical health complications like obesity, diabetes mellitus, heart diseases that may lead to death.

Ideal practices to get longer sleep

You can cultivate your sleep routine to your advantage. If you’ve gotten early on in nurturing essential sleeping habits, carry on with the great job. But if you haven’t begun yet, today is a good time to nourish new ones. Below are a number of fresh sleeping habits that you can embrace day by day.

Ideal practices to get longer sleep

1. Make it a routine to sleep at a consistent time period

Following a definite schedule helps in enabling you to adapt gradually to your body clock. Resting at a certain time every single day is the most potent recipe for sleep wellness.

You can also learn to practice meditative activities right before sleeping. This ranges from getting massages, journal-writing, meditating, and the like.

2. Seek the help of efficient apps

The availability of good apps in the market offers a monumental advantage to people having difficulties in sleeping. A lot of promising apps promote good sleep through the use of music and a sleep cycle tracker.

You can opt for apps that provide a gradual alarm clock, for instance. This lessens the possibility of waking and stressing your body abruptly by a loud alarm clock.

Apps can certainly serve as transformational tools if you match them well with regular sleep hygiene.

3. Stay away from stimulants

Here’s a certain measure that will elevate your sleeping condition. Ducking away from stimulants helps in letting you sleep deeper without disruptions.

Surely, it’s an impossible ordeal to sleep when you’ve just previously gobbled stimulants into your body. So, it’s best to practice avoidance of such stimulants 4 hours before sleep. These include nicotine, chocolate, caffeine, and others.

4. Develop the habit of exercising

One can never underestimate the power of exercise. When you make it a point to exercise during the day, your body adapts to a good, nightly rest. Your body gradually learns when to be physically active and when to take a rest.

Develop the habit of exercising

It’s a different story, though, if you choose to exercise at night. Your body becomes too active which prevents you from feeling sleepy at all. Hence, it’s way better to engage in physical activities in the daylight than in the nighttime.

5. Invest in properly making your bed

Allocating at least two to five minutes of your time in setting up your bed to be as cozy as possible literally pays off. Where you sleep creates a profound difference in how you sleep.

A good environment conditions your mind and body to a comfortable, healthy sleep. Surely, every little detail matters. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a mattress is no small thing.

Takeaway

The list can go on and on for the harms brought by sleep-deprivation. But so does the list of wonders when you follow the ideal 7-8 hour sleep duration. It’s only a matter of time before you experience the gifts of sleep when you apply it to your routine.


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