Getting plenty of ‘beauty sleep’ has long been associated with anti-ageing, but there’s more to getting those ‘forty winks’ than just the preservation of youth. Sleep is essential for the functioning of the human body, and failing to get enough hours could wreak havoc with your physical and mental health.
If you want to stay happy, healthy, productive and alert, maintaining a regular sleep schedule is crucial – but what are the main health benefits of ensuring that you get a good kip?
The health benefits of a good night’s sleep
While it may be tempting to stay up late bingeing boxsets and burning the candle at both ends amidst a hectic work schedule, you must get enough sleep if you want to stay healthy. Sleeping reduces your heart rate and blood pressure, giving your body time to ‘cool off’ from the stresses of life – it also works wonders for boosting your immune system.
At the same time, a regular sleep schedule can help to regulate your metabolism and promote healthy weight loss. As well as physical benefits, a good night’s sleep will also help you to enhance your mental performance throughout the day by improving your attention and concentration levels plus your ability to learn and effectively memorise processes and information. It can also improve your mood, reduces stress and boost your overall sense of mental well-being.
How to set up your room for a healthy sleep schedule
If you’re struggling to maintain a regular sleep schedule or get enough hours each week, consider re-designing your bedroom with the promotion of sleep in mind. A great way to start is by de-cluttering your room and removing any distracting objects or electronic devices that could impinge a good night’s sleep. Try to go with cool colours like light blue, lavender, green and grey, which can work to lower blood pressure and
promote a sense of calm.
The darker the room is, the more likely you are to get a decent kip, so invest in some heavy curtains or blinds to block out light. It’s recommended to keep your bedroom temperature between 18-20 degrees for a healthy night’s sleep.
What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
Medical professionals recommend that adults should get at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night, which should also be kept at a regular schedule for optimal health benefits. Lack of sleep can not only make you feel moody and tired but can also lead to a range of health problems including depression, immunity impairment, an increased risk of high blood pressure, cancer, stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
It can also negatively affect your eyes and eyesight, causing spasms, changes in vision and sensitivity to bright light, which could lead to you needing contact lenses, restorative surgery or glasses later down the line. Sufferers of sleep apnea (where you stop breathing during sleep) are particularly vulnerable to vision problems and glaucoma, as well as decreased liver function due to a lack of oxygen flowing to the brain.