Studies Show Changes In Your Body When You Sleep Less Than Eight Hours A Day
Many studies have been done on the importance of sleep. We know its an essential part of our daily life and shouldn't be skipped, of course. Not getting enough sleep can seriously affect your mental and physical health. And yet studies also show that roughly 40% of US citizens sleep less than the recommended amount of 8 hours a night.
So let's have a look at what your life could be like if you did get a good night's sleep.
Learning And Remembering Things Gets Easier With 8 Hours Of Sleep
Our knowledge about sleep and how well we learn and memorize things isn't complete yet. But a lot of studies have been conducted on this topic and there are some pretty solid conclusions to be found, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Getting enough sleep is key to keeping your concentration up. If you had enough sleep the night before, it is easier for you to focus and you can learn more efficiently. Sleeping also helps your brain sort and file what it learned across the day - if you don't get enough sleep, your brain is unable to process everything and you don't memorize as much.
8 Hours Of Sleep Mean Higher Awareness And Creativity
Sleeping, especially deep REM-sleep, is also important for your creativity and problem-solving abilities. A Harvard study showed that people who were woken during a REM-sleep phase were generally better at solving puzzles and problems than those woken during other times. People who generally sleep more, and therefore also experience more REM-phases, were also generally better at solving puzzles and finding creative solutions to problems. This is most likely because your brain functions differently during REM-sleep: it is much more active.
Controling Weight Is Easier With 8 Hours Of Sleep
First things first: Sleep is not the magic wonder drug against obesity. However, it is correct that sleep is also important for regulating our body's hormones and the way glucose is processed. Several studies over the years, such as one from the University of Chicago, have shown that chronic partial sleep loss may cause you to gain weight because your body can no longer regulate your metabolism efficiently. Simply put: your body uses the downtime provided by sleep for maintenance and can't keep up if there's not enough time.
8 Hours Of Sleep Equal Overall Better Health
This may seem obvious now, but getting a good 8 hours of sleep affects your overall health. A 2017 study has shown that losing sleep or having your sleep interrupted regularly raises your risk for cardio-cerebral vascular events - or in other words strokes and heart-attacks. As the body becomes more stressed due to lack of maintenance time, your brain and heart take the toll. As a side effect, you will also feel stressed much easier.
Lower Risk Of Diabetes Thanks To 8 Hours Of Sleep
A National Sleep Foundation study has also shown that not getting enough sleep can be a significant risk factor for diabetes, type 2. This in part comes back to the fact that your body's hormones will go haywire if you sleep less. Insulin is a hormone, as is cortisol. If you sleep less than 8 hours, your body releases less insulin, making it harder for your body to regulate your blood sugar levels. At the same time, it produces more cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes it harder for insulin to work. The result: More glucose is left in your body, increasing your risk of getting diabetes type 2.
8 Hours Of Sleep May Defeat The Common Cold
Interestingly enough, a study from Carnegie Mellon has also shown that regularly getting enough undisturbed sleep can also help against the common cold. The study showed that people who were regularly getting less than 8 hours of sleep or had regularly disturbed sleep were more likely to catch the cold from somebody else and took longer to recover from it.
Your Skin Is Better Off With 8 Hours Of Sleep
Studies have also been done on how our skin reacts to 8 hours of sleep and less such as "Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?" The results show that not getting enough sleep can make our skin look older and weaken it. This makes it much easier for blemishes and all kinds of skin impurities to rear their ugly heads. The best way to counteract this and keep your skin healthy is simply getting some quality sleep.
Drive Safely After 8 Hours Of Sleep
This should be a no-brainer after all the previous points. As we already mentioned, getting not enough sleep makes you unfocused, less aware of your surroundings and more stressed. All of this is already bad for safe driving. But one extensive study has shown that sleep loss can have severe consequences such as microsleep, drastically slower response time and problems with short-term recall and working memory. Sleep-deprived drivers can be just as bad as drunk ones.
Your Balance Improves With 8 Hours Of Sleep
Whether you get enough sleep or not can also affect your balance, according to comments by Joe Rosenthal, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Next Avenue. Your coordination suffers from sleep loss because you are tired during the day, making you much more accident-prone. You're also more likely to trip over things, as your awareness is also down. So by getting enough sleep, you can lower your risk of accidents!
We hope everybody knows how important getting enough sleep is, but we know it's not easy in today's world. Do you have any tips on how we all can stay healthy and get all our z's in?
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!