How A Good Night’s Sleep Can Improve Your Physical and Psychological Health | Guest Post by Mohamed Karim
Sleep… That silly task that we have to do every day, it takes 8 hours of our lives doing nothing… all that sleep adds up to about a third of our lives! We have to do something about it to reduce our sleeping time so we can enjoy our lives more! That’s how most people think about sleep and that’s how I used to think about it and I actually tried to optimize – minimize – my hours of sleep but it actually backfired.
I thought by reducing my hours of sleep I could do more but I actually couldn’t do what I used to do sleeping 8 hours, I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t be productive, I couldn’t enjoy life, I was always stressed out and I was definitely less patient than I used to be sleeping normally.
My sleeping optimization plan was a complete failure because I undermined the role of sleep in our lives. We sleep so we are able to work, to play, to engage with life and to have fun, lack of sleep doesn’t mean you could do more, it actually means you would do less. So how can sleep actually improve your health physically and psychologically?
The Impact of Sleep on Your Physical Health
A good night’s sleep is very important for your physical health, it affects your body in so many levels, your central nervous system, your immune system, your respiratory system, your digestive system, your cardiovascular system, and your endocrine system benefit from a good night’s sleep.
Sleep actually gives a chance for all of these systems to get rested and refreshed to be ready for the next day ahead, when you don’t sleep or you minimize your sleeping hours you don’t give a chance for these systems to rest so they get exhausted and burnt out after a few days. For example, sleep affects the central nervous system and the lack of it can affect decision-making abilities leading to delayed or wrong decisions, also lack of sleep may lead to hallucinations. The central nervous system is the center of your emotional state also which we will touch later on in this article.
Also, your immune system doesn’t get the chance to build up itself in case of lack of sleep, while you’re sleeping your immune system starts producing protective substances that help fight bacteria and viruses. When you’re sleep deprived your immune system doesn’t get the chance to produce those substances so you are more prone to illnesses due to viruses and bacteria.
The Impact of Sleep on Your Psychological Health
As stated in the physical health section, sleep affects the central nervous system, you are mentally weakened when you are not sleeping well. Simply stated lack of sleep increases stress levels in your body and that leads to all kinds of trouble.
When you have stress your anxiety increases, you worry more about everything and every act or situation may raise your anxiety levels to very high levels. Also, stress can lead to depression, depression has many medical definitions but in the simplest terms it is the loss of hope, when your stress levels are high you get pushed into that corner, that there is no hope in doing what you do and that you may never achieve your goals or solve the problems that you are facing.
Stress can make the problem of sleep harder to solve because lack of sleep means more stress and more stress means less sleep so you may enter a vicious cycle that raises your stress levels and leads to every problem that you may face. Stress can also make it hard to focus at work and make you less productive, it may also affect your relationship with your partner and your kids, which can all add up to more stress, depression, and anxiety.
The Impact of Sleep on Your Weight
When you are not sleeping your metabolism gets affected and you become less able to burn the fats that you consume in your day. Also, your appetite may increase and your body may demand eating more and consuming more food and sugar which will definitely affect your weight in the long term. The impact of sleep on your weight can have an emotional side, you may get frustrated and depressed from being overweight which may contribute negatively to your overall emotional state bringing it down.
The Impact of Sleep on Your Beauty
Your sleep can affect your beauty too. In addition to the shape and weight of your body, sleep can affect your look too. The material that you sleep on plays an important role in this part, for example if you sleep on silk pillowcases and silk sheets you may have a softer skin that has no zits and pimples. This again can contribute positively to your overall emotional state, when you are satisfied by your outer look that will have a positive impact on your thoughts, a positive point will be added to your overall emotional score.
So this was a brief preview on the importance of your sleep for your body, sleep is very important and it has effects on every corner of your life. You are not doing your body any favor by reducing your hours of sleep below the required number and you’re actually hurting your body, lowering your ability to focus, increasing the chances of illness, increasing your weight, and making your skin look less attractive.
So please, have a good night’s sleep.