fitness

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Why you NEED to make sleep a priority

Why you NEED to make sleep a priority

SWEAT sweat.com

Most of us have set goals to eat healthier, exercise more and perhaps engage in more positive thinking; but realistically, sleep should be at the top of this list. 

We all know that sleep is important, but with so many distractions in the modern world, sometimes sleep is pushed so far down the priority list it becomes forgotten. Numerous studies have shown time & time again the negative effects sleep has physically on the body, but there are also multiple effects on your mental health and awareness.

Here are just a FEW of the reasons why you need to start investing more time into your sleep pattern;

 

Tissue Repair and Growth

As you sleep, your body repairs itself. Our growth hormone is produced during deep sleep, which helps our muscles to repair, replenish and regrow overnight. You know when you’ve done a massive weights session and you’re sore as anything?! That’s when sleep is SO vital for those muscles – you need to dedicate enough time to your sleep so they can have time to grow and to ensure your workout had a real impact.

 

Immune System

If you’ve ever been told to “sleep it off”, there is a good reason for this, and that is that our immune system works best when we get a decent sleep. Numerous studies have shown that sleep deprivation supresses immune system functioning, which means you’re more likely to wake up sick with a cold if you’ve had a crappy sleep. Less sleep also reduces production & activity of T Cells, which are specialized white blood cells that directly attack viruses and bacteria. You need these to fight those pesky colds & common illnesses, so get some sleep!

 

Metabolism

When you’re working super hard at your workouts, you want them to count. That’s why having a fast metabolism is super important, and a lack of sleep can hinder this process. Insufficient sleep can lead to excessive production of Grehlin, an appetite-promoting hormone that encourages you to be hungry all the time. When you skimp on sleep you drastically disrupt your metabolism by keeping it running on ‘fat-storing- mode, which means reduced energy levels and a lack of motivation.

 

Mood

Let’s face it – if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep the chances of you waking up on the right side of the bed are almost non-existent. No one feels their best when they haven’t had a great sleep, and studies have shown that people with chronic sleep deprivation can have a higher incidence of anxiety disorders and depression. This is due to the critical role sleep plays in emotional processing, which majority takes place during REM. In fact, Studies at the University of Pennsylvania show that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to succumb to feelings of anger, sadness and irritability, and are more likely to feel stresses and mentally exhausted – no thank you!

 

Learning and Memory

If you’ve got an important exam coming up, you’re better off investing in sleep than revision. Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with studies showing that subjects that had more sleep after learning new information performed better on a test than those who did not. It is deep sleep that helps our brains retain and store new information, so make sure you prioritise your sleep before a big test to keep you on you’re a game.

 

Good for skin

Want amazing skin? Get some serious sleep. As we grab shuteye, our skin restores itself overnight and produces collage – which helps to plump and soften skin. Sleep deprivation can cause dark under-eye circles, puffy skin around your eyes and can even cause your skin to have a sickly pale tinge. Not only will immediate visible signs be evident from sleep deprivation, but long term it also accelerates skin ageing… no thanks!

 

Whether you’ve been getting enough sleep or not, by making it a priority you’ll be doing yourself a massive favour. If not for your mental and physical health, your memory, your muscles or your skin, do it for the simple reason of waking up on the RIGHT side of the bed every single day.

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