How improving your sleep can improve your wellbeing guide, Mental and physical health advice
How Improving Your Sleep Can Improve Your Wellbeing
23 May 2022
Sleep is essential for our overall well-being and can have a direct impact on our mental and physical health. Making sure that we get enough sleep means that our bodies can rest and recover from our daily activities and is a way of ensuring all our various systems within the body can work as they’re meant to, allowing us to live a healthy life.
Improving your sleep can have a positive effect on the way you function and making changes to ensure you are well rested is easy, whether that’s making sure you have the best bed or creating a relaxing bedtime routine. Here are a few ways in which improving your sleep can improve your well-being.
Boosts immune system
Our bodies need sleep so that they can function to the best of their ability — whether that’s our brain or our immune system. Sleeping allows your body to rest and recover, and good sleep means that your natural defences can work to the best of their abilities to fight off disease and illness. Making sure that you get enough sleep each night gives your body’s defences the best environment to work in and therefore means you’ll be less likely to become ill. If you find that you’re feeling under the weather more often, your quality of sleep could be the culprit, and it may be time for an overhaul of your bedtime routine.
Feel less stressed
Sleep and stress go hand in hand. If you are stressed before you go to bed, high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and adrenaline will be present which makes it more difficult for you to sleep. If you have a bad night’s sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed throughout the day, leading to your stress levels increasing — and the cycle continues! Getting a good night’s sleep means that you will be more relaxed during the day, and able to manage situations more calmly. Before going to bed each night, make sure you take the time to wind down so that the stress hormones in your brain have time to reduce.
Manage your weight
You may not realise it, but sleep has a direct impact on the way we manage our weight. Good sleep can result in weight maintenance or loss, whereas bad sleep can result in putting weight on. A bad sleeping pattern and not getting the correct amount of sleep a night have an impact on your appetite. Not only this, but it is also directly linked with cravings for food such as salty and sweet products, both of which are synonymous with weight gain. If you’re looking to manage your weight effectively and put a stop to those pesky cravings, improved sleep is essential.
Improves focus and memory
A good night’s sleep can work wonders for your focus and memory. We all know how it feels when we’re trying to function when we’ve had a bad night’s sleep, the difficulty that comes with trying to concentrate, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to work to the best of our abilities.
Sleep deprivation impairs your ability to learn, so if you’re a student this could be particularly detrimental! Lack of sleep also means your brain will have difficulty remembering new things, as well as old memories. Improving your sleep means your brain can function at full capacity, and you’ll be able to remember everything from how to work out a problem, to the last thing you ate for lunch.
Reduces risk of heart conditions
Sleeping well each night means that you are at less risk for heart conditions, such as heart disease and strokes. This goes back to the way the body recovers and relaxes when we sleep and getting our eight hours means that our heart rate can slow, and our blood pressure can drop, which allows your heart to relieve itself of the stress and the pressure that we put on it during the day. Making sure that you’re getting enough high-quality sleep can be beneficial when it comes to improving your cardiovascular health.
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