Six Ways Sleep Can Supercharge Your Health
Research in recent years suggests that adequate sleep (which varies depending on age but is not less than eight hours regardless of age group) can improve your memory function, your motor skills, boost your immune system, aid longevity and bizarrely, improve breakfast food choices among teenagers thus counteracting potential onset of diabetes and obesity.
The Benefits of Sleeping
According to the scientific research benefits of sleeping the recommended length of time for your age group include:
1. Improved health: there are numerous studies that confirm the link between the optimal amount of sleep and conditions such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
2. Improved weight control: this is partly due to psychological reasons. If you are too tired it’s easier to slide a pizza out of a packet than to spend time chopping vegetables for a nourishing soup. However it’s also physiological as a hormone called leptin plays a role in telling you when you are full. Leptin levels drop when you are tired meaning you’re more likely to feel hungry.
3. We all know that short sleep can make us cranky but research shows that adequate sleep can improve concentration and productivity in adults and in children. So if you sleep well not only will you stop snapping at your co-workers, you’ll get your work done in half the time!
4. Longer sleep will help you get achieve fitness goals: Longer sleeping has been linked to achieving athletic goals in a study of college basketball players so get to bed early if you are trying for a personal best.
5. Stay healthy this winter by sleeping for eight hours a night. A 2015 study found that adults with longer sleep were less likely to develop cold symptoms after infection.
6. Apart from the short and long term health benefits that can be gained from eight hours of sleep per night there are also mental and emotional benefits. Sleep before and after learning can greatly assist recall due to the role deep sleep plays in memory retention or what Matthew Walker, the Sleep Diplomat and author of “Why We Sleep” calls “the save button”.
There are campaigns afoot to adjust school start times in order to make allowances for the specific sleep needs of teenagers with sleep experts calling for a complementary course of sleep education for parents, teachers and teenagers. How have we gone so wrong that we need to be taught how to sleep!