A natural recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and reduced interactions with surroundings.
Not getting enough sleep can be linked to many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression which can be the root cause of a lot of injury and disability. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury, it is something people need to stay healthy. Sleep disorders can also increase a person’s risk of health problems. However, these disorders can be diagnosed and treated, bringing relief to those who suffer from them.
From sharper brain functioning to more balanced weight and a clearer complexion, getting a good sleep has a range of long-term benefits that can contribute to a healthier life overall. Although the amount of sleep a person get each day is important, other aspects of sleep also contribute to health and well-being. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include;
- not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep.
- repeatedly waking up during the night.
- experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders (such as snoring or gasping for air).
Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder a person may have. Below are age range and recommended sleeping hours.
18–60 years 7 or more hours per night
61–64 years 7–9 hours
65 years and older 7–8 hours
Benefit of good sleep
- when the body does not get enough sleep, it can react by producing stress hormones. Deep and regular sleep can help prevent this.
- When we sleep, the body is at rest but the brain is active organizing and storing memories. A good night sleep help refresh the cognitive activity of the brain to help remember and process better.
- The chances of heart attack and stroke with the presence of high blood pressure can be increased when a person lacks good sleep. But a constant state of relaxation from a healthy sleeping habit can control this risk.
- The body produces extra protein molecules which strengthens the ability to fight infections when sleeping.
- Good night’s sleep control weight gains by regulating the hormone that affects appetite and reducing the cravings for high calorie foods.
- A good night’s sleep improves our ability to stay calm, controlled and reasonable which can affect our work performance and relationship with colleagues positively.
- Some research studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose. It’s not conclusive by any means, but it’s yet another indication of how important the benefits of sleep can be.
- The levels of stress and inflammation to the cardiovascular system, which in turn can reduce the chances of a heart condition can be improved with a healthy sleep habit.
Tips for Better Sleep
Good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Some tips that can help improve your sleep habits includes:
- Being consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
- Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
- Get some exercise. Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night
sleep and sleep disorder- Centers for disease and control prevention (CDC)