Benefits of sleep: sleep is good for you – 10 things to know about sleep

Sleep has become an important time for those who care about health.

How much you sleep and when you have to stop sleeping are issues that are increasingly at the center of attention of the scientific community, as well as of citizens (sleepless or not) concerned about their own well-being.

IS SLEEPING GOOD? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SLEEP? OUR ADVICE

Here are some good tips to get a good, long and deep sleep

1. MATTRESSES, BED BASES OR PILLOWS ARE IMPORTANT FOR A GOOD SLEEP

The choice of the mattress is essential for a truly restful sleep, as is its maintenance. On average, a mattress must be changed every 10 years and this aspect cannot be underestimated.

Health plays a very important role and, in this sense, it is important to choose the ideal for sleeping well.

There are different types of mattresses and each of them can be more or less ideal depending on the needs:

  • memory foam mattresses
  • latex mattresses
  • pocket spring mattresses

The choice of the bed base also responds to personal needs: for most users, common and reliable bed bases with wooden slats can be fine , but other people may need motorized orthopedic bases .

2. THE IMPORTANCE OF RESTING EIGHT HOURS (MORE OR LESS)

One of the most popular recommendations is to get eight hours of sleep every night.

The advice is based on research indicating that both those who sleep a lot and those who sleep little are more likely to suffer from certain diseases and live less time.

But it is difficult to know if lack of sleep is causing the disease or if it is a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle.

It is assumed that a person sleeps poorly when he regularly sleeps less than 6 hours a day, while someone who sleeps more than 9 or 10 hours a day is considered to be low empty.

For children, however, it is recommended to get up to 11 hours of sleep at night, while teenagers should get up to 10 hours.

Shane O’Mara, a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin, explains that despite the difficulties in determining whether sleep deprivation is a cause or a symptom of poor health, the two are mutually reinforcing.

People who are less fit exercise less, which leads to poor sleep, so they end up exhausted and therefore less likely to exercise.

Experts know that chronic sleep deprivation – that is, depriving yourself of one or two hours of sleep a day for an extended period of time – has been linked by scientists to poor health. And you don’t have to go days without sleep to experience these negative effects.

3. WHAT HAPPENS IN YOUR BODY WHEN YOU DON’T GET ENOUGH SLEEP?

Non-refreshing sleep has been linked to numerous problems.

A review of 153 studies involving over five million people found that not getting enough sleep was significantly associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

Depriving people of sleep for a few consecutive nights may be enough to bring healthy adults to a pre-diabetic state. This moderate sleep deprivation has impaired their body’s ability to control glucose levels.

Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system making us easy prey to infections. Furthermore, vaccines are also less effective.

Research has shown that people who sleep less than seven hours are nearly three times more likely to develop a cold than those who sleep seven hours or more.

Those who do not get enough sleep also produce an excess of the hormone ghrelin, which is linked to the feeling of hunger, and at the same time have an insufficient production of the hormone leptin, which is associated with a sense of satiety, which could contribute to the risk of obesity.

There are also links to brain function and even the likelihood of long-term dementia.

O’Mara, a professor of experimental brain research at Trinity College Dublin, explains that toxic waste builds up in the brain during the day and is flushed out of the body during sleep. So, if you don’t get enough sleep, you end up in a state of mild shock.

Experts are less clear on the impact of excessive sleep, although it is known to be linked to poorer health conditions and an increased risk of cognitive decline in older adults.

4. DIFFERENT TYPES OF SLEEP ARE NEEDED, DIFFERENT STAGES

When falling asleep, people go through several sleep cycles. Each cycle lasts between 60 and 100 minutes and plays a different role in many of the processes that occur in the body.

The first phase of each cycle consists of a state of relaxation in which we find ourselves between sleep and wakefulness. Breathing slows, muscles relax, and heart rate decreases.

The second stage is characterized by a slightly deeper sleep. You may feel awake, which means that many nights you may be asleep and not know it.

Deep sleep characterizes the third stage . It is very difficult to wake up during this time when the body performs the least number of activities.

After a deep sleep we return to the second phase for a few minutes and enter the phase known as REM (rapid eye movement) which is when we dream.

Why do we dream and why do dreams repeat themselves?

Subsequent cycles have longer REM periods, so poor sleep has a disproportionately greater effect on this phase.

5. PEOPLE WHO WORK SHIFTS AND HAVE SLEEP PROBLEMS GET SICK MORE OFTEN

Shift workers who get little sleep at the wrong time of day can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.

Those who work by changing schedules are more likely to be in poor health.

In addition, according to the UK’s National Statistics Office, they tend to experience more absences from work due to illness.

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