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    5 reasons you should sleep on time (If you don't already). Credit: EnvatoElements

    5 reasons you should sleep on time (If you don't already). Credit: EnvatoElements

    5 Amazing Reasons You Should Sleep On Time (If You Don't Already)

    by Zheelana Cottam




    In order for a human being to function correctly they must maintain ‘the 3 pillars of health’. These pillars are eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and, finally, getting enough sleep. The average adult is supposed to get up to 7-9 hours of sleep each night while teenagers (aged 13-19) should be getting around 8-10 hours of sleep.

    According to the 10th Annual Relaxation Survey the UK is the most sleep deprived country in the world with 66% of Brits admitting to not getting enough sleep each night. This has a big link to modern society's obsession with hustle culture (a lifestyle where you are pushed to grind harder, faster and stronger without down time) to the point where we are willing to jeopardise our sleep over it. This is detrimental to you in the long run!


    So, here are 5 amazing reasons why you should get to sleep on time:

     

    5 reasons it’s important to get enough sleep - Help your appetite

    Credit: Shutterstock

     

    1. Getting a full night's sleep will help you manage your appetite!

    A 2013 study explained how a lack of sleep can cause disruptions with your hormones that regulate your appetite which can cause you to consume more calories. This imbalance can create a feeling of insatiability, meaning you are never satisfied no matter how much food you consume, so you are always hungry. This is why a lack of sleep can be linked to weight gain and obesity in both adults and children. It is a fact that people who go to sleep on time eat smaller portions of food. 

     

    5 reasons to get enough sleep at night - improves mental and physical health

    Credit: Getty Images

     

    2. Sleep will improve your mental and physical performance! 

    The main function of sleep is to help you rest and restore your brain. A study in 2015 proved that a lack of sleep can impair the brain and minimise cognitive functions diminishing your problem-solving skills as well as your ability to remember things. You need good cognitive function to perform well mentally, creatively, and physically too. Studies conducted on athletes by the Journal of Sports Science have shown that sleeping on time, for the right amount of time, can improve aspects of athletic and physical performance. This is because increased cognitive functions mean better physical coordination and enhanced mobility. 


    5 benefits of getting a full night's sleep - reduce your risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes

    Credit: Shutterstock

     

    3. Good sleep will strengthen your immune system, reduce your risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes!

    According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control & Prevention) a plentiful night’s sleep will strengthen your immune system and leave you less susceptible to sickness. If you get less than 7-8 hours of sleep a night you increase your chance of getting heart disease, stroke, as well as type-2 diabetes. This is because you are not allowing adequate time for your blood pressure to go down which is what happens during a normal sleep cycle. Instead, by not sleeping on time, your blood pressure stays higher for longer, overworking your heart. 

     

    5 benefits of going to sleep on time - it improves your mental health
    Credit: Getty Images

    4. Sleeping on time is better for your mental health! 

    Sleep is an amazing tool for stabilising your mental health as it helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. When you get less than your recommended amount of sleep you increase the amount of stress hormones released into your body. This stress hormone is called cortisol and is produced by the HPA axis which helps you coordinate your sleep cycles. This increase of hormones is linked to depression, stress, anxiety and, in severe cases, can result in insomnia. 

     

    Top 5 reasons to get enough sleep - improves your social life
    Credit: Freepik 

    5. A regular sleeping pattern and good sleep will improve your social life! 

    Going to sleep on time will regulate the hormones that affect your mood. A study performed by the Journal of Sleep Research tested the effects that sleep deprivation had on a person’s emotional state. They found that insufficient sleep and erratic sleep patterns decreased emotional empathy and reduced their social skills. A lack of sleep will reduce your ability to register people’s emotional states meaning it will be harder for you to be aware of others. 


    4 tips to help get to sleep on time:


    • Try and create a sleep schedule that works for your lifestyle. This means you will aim to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This will be beneficial for your body and mind and get you used to these set patterns.  
    • You should give yourself at least 30-60 minutes to unwind before going to sleep by doing simple activities that will help quieten the mind. Put away your phone and try reading a chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to start. You could also make a to-do list of things you need to do for the next day, or pop on a bedtime podcast, close your eyes and relax.
    • No, seriously now - put your phone away! (The same goes for TVs, laptops, tablets, etc). Your phone screen emits blue light which restrains the production of the hormones that control when you fall asleep which messes with your circadian rhythm. You’re not doing yourself any favours. Try putting it on charge on the other side of the room tonight and you’ll be surprised how fast you fall asleep.
    • A way for you to combat the effects of blue light to improve your sleep is to download a computer software that counteracts its effects. Software like flux (suitable for both Windows and Mac) reduce the blue light emitted from your screen at sundown. For Iphones you can enable Night Shift for a similar effect and Night Light for android devices.




    Zheelana Cottam
    Zheelana Cottam

    Author

    Zheelana is a writer based in Cardiff. She has a BA Honours in English and Creative Writing and is a certified TESOL teacher. When she isn’t out hiking in the lush Welsh countryside, she fills her days with reading, journaling, and going out for food.



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