You might be interested to know that the Sandman has actually been helping you keep healthy during all those years of sprinkling his magic sleeping sand into your eyes. Many studies support the fact that catching the recommended amount of Z’s is excellent for your health for a number of different reasons.
If you’re reading this and thinking ‘no duh. I’m tired, I sleep, I’m not tired anymore,’ there’s more to it than that. We might not be aware of it, but our brains are more active than we know when we slip into the blissfully unaware depths of dreamland. Here are just a couple of the reasons why sleeping too little or too much can be a bad idea.
Bed time – why you should stick to it
• Improve your weight – if you’re currently dieting and not seeing the results you’re after, consider getting some extra sleep. Research has shown that dieters who are better rested actually burn more fat and don’t feel as hungry. The same hormones which are released by the brain when we’re sleepy also control our metabolism, meaning that when we’re tired, we have a greater appetite
• Stop hitting the gym and hit the hay instead – if you’re finding you’re fatigued during the day or displaying a general lack of performance in your preferred sleep, there may be a common factor – you guessed it, not getting enough shut-eye. Athletes who sleep for longer have been shown to display improved stamina and speed and experienced less fatigue to boot.
• Possibly extend your life span – whilst it is unclear as to whether a good night’s sleep is the root cause of a longer life, it is certainly responsible for lowering stress, anxiety, depression and general health. Improvements in all of these areas can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and forgo any illnesses which could ultimately shorten your lifespan.
Causes of sleep loss
There are many different reasons that attribute to a lack of sleep. Sometimes it can be because of an illness or sleep disorder, medication, demanding work hours, the quality of your mattress or even your bed partner. If you share your bed with somebody who snores or rolls around a lot, this can be resolved with things such as earplugs or a king sized mattress with enough room to give each other some space. Otherwise, it is advisable that you seek counsel from your local doctor or sleep therapist to help ensure you’re getting the sleep you need.