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There are times when sleep is the best medicine.
For some reason, a good night’s sleep just has a way of setting everything right. Whether it’s problems that can’t be immediately solved, pains that won’t seem to let up, or emotions running on high, “sleeping on it” is often the correct answer.
In fact, sleep has positive effects on our mental state, as well as our physical.
A good night of sleep has saved many of us from sending that angry email or text.
A good night of sleep has spared us of grueling migraines or upset stomachs.
And a good night of sleep has given us the energy we needed to overcome the day’s frustrations and given us renewed energy to take on tomorrow.
Simply put, sleep is one of the simplest, most pleasurable, and healthiest things you can do.
It should come as no surprise that sleeping is good for you.
For starters, you need to sleep in order to live. A human being can only go 264 hours (11 days) before they die or go insane. Heck, at 3-4 days without sleep, you’ll start to hallucinate.
So, right out of the gate, willing yourself to avoid sleeping isn’t an option. At some point, your brain will forcibly shut itself off.
Thankfully, your body knows it needs to incentivize sleep, as well. And that’s why sleep is the best medicine.
Take a moment and rank these three biological necessities:
If you’re like us, “food” and “sex” are interchangeable but sleep is nearly ALWAYS at the top of the pyramid.
And that’s because sleeping is packed with benefits for the body and the mind; it’s also packed with health risks if you skimp on it.
For example, here’s what getting a good night’s sleep (7-9 hours) does for your body…
Sleep works to reduce your blood pressure, helping prevent heart disease and stroke.
Melatonin is produced before you sleep, it also works to prevent cancers from forming.
Stress is a huge killer due to its effect on the heart and brain. Sleep is the best medicine because it plays a major role in decreasing your body’s overall physical and mental stress.
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response but it can also be just as taxing and harmful. Thankfully, sleep works to reduce your immune response to keep you healthy.
Your brain needs time to process what it’s stored in its short-term memory. By giving it rest, you can improve your ability to learn and recall new information.
The body produces hormones Leptid and Ghrelin while you sleep. These helpful hormones work to regulate appetite.
Serotonin is the chief “happiness” hormone, and without it, we’re prone to depression. During sleep, the body works to produce and regulate serotonin levels to boost your mood for the next day.
Whether it’s muscle repair after a long workout or a migraine or headache, the body uses sleep to produce helpful proteins that foster self-repair and recovery.
Now that we’ve convinced you about the importance of sleep, are you sure you’re getting enough?
Despite some people claiming that they only need “4 hours of sleep” to function, most doctors and researchers advocate getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
However, this recommendation does depend on your age, with younger age groups typically requiring more sleep than their older counterparts.
Here’s a helpful list to refer to…
Alright. So, you’ve resolved yourself to get more sleep but you’re having trouble.
You aren’t alone.
In fact, 27% of Americans experience trouble sleeping.
And the culprit may be a number of reasons including…
Though losing sleep may be common, here’s how to change the narrative.
If you really believe sleep is the best medicine, you’re going to have to take it seriously—this means prioritizing it.
Note: Also, do not eat before bed. It’s not good for your digestive health.
In truth, improving your sleep patterns isn’t as difficult as you may think. It just requires a few obvious solutions—set the right tone and commit to going to sleep.
It’ll get easier with time.
Sleeping is one the finest pleasures we have as humans. Not only do we need it for good health, but it feels good, making it its own reward at the end of a long day.
So, don’t skimp out on sleep if you want to remain healthy in mind and body.
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