Our body has a capacity to repair and rejuvenate itself after a long day of activity, and we humans call it sleep. Our body’s restorative functions such as producing growth hormones, cell regeneration and protein synthesis occurs mainly during sleep.
Unfortunately, with the advent of modern technologies and fast pace of life nowadays, we sometimes, if not often, deprive our body its well-deserved rest. Have you experienced going to work like a zombie because you did not sleep well the previous night? If you do, the below list might help you identify different health benefits of going to bed early every night. But why should we really go to bed early? What will happen to your body if you do not get enough sleep every day?
Read also: How to Calculate Your Ideal Sleeping Time
Here are some of the health benefits of going to bed early and might make you realize how important a good night sleep is.
Why You Should Go To Bed Early
1. Boosts your immune system
Sleep deprivation suppresses our body’s immune system function, and the level of inflammatory cytokines go up which could potentially lead to a greater risk of developing cold or flu or any infection.
A lot of studies show that T-cells (a lymphocyte that actively participates in immune responses) go down if we deprive ourselves with sleep. Try sleeping for only an hour and wake up feeling fuzzy then go to work for eight hours. The moment you go home, you may feel heavy and it seems like you’re having cold or something.
That is because your body’s immune system dropped heavily because of your lack of sleep and further sleep deprivation may lead to infections. If you go to bed early and meet the required hours of sleep, your body’s ability to fight colds and other bacterial infections increases.
2. Protection against heart diseases
Sleep is very essential in maintaining a healthy heart.
Research shows that sleep-deprived people have a higher risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases. When you always lack sleep, your C-reactive protein (a protein made by the liver which causes inflammation) increases and may play a role in heart disease.
One study examined 3,000 adults over the age of forty-five, those who slept fewer than six hours per night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours per night. This is because if you do not meet the required sleep, chemicals in your body are activated and over time can lead to higher blood pressure during the day and a greater chance of cardiovascular problems.
3. Fighting pain
If you are currently recovering from an injury, your body acquires enough strength to fight any chronic or acute pain if you get enough sleep. Studies show that enough sleep can supplement any medication for pain making its effect more potent maximizing its effectiveness.
If you sleep, your body regenerates tissues and muscles and with the help of pain relievers, you will experience lesser recovery period, which means lesser pain. That is the sole reason why our doctors advice us to rest after an injury.
4. Fight crankiness
Have you noticed waking up after only two to three hours of sleep? Have you noticed that you get cranky and tend to be irritable?
Goinf to bed early and getting enough sleep helps your body’s emotional state. When you are tired, sleepy and exhausted, you may snap easily and it can affect your emotional health, work and even relationships and may lead to mood problems and depressions. Having enough sleep of course does not guarantee a good day, but it will for sure make you feel good about yourself and others.
5. Weight loss
You have been working out and observing a proper diet but you still cannot achieve your desired figure?
Well maybe you are not getting enough sleep. It does not necessarily mean that when you sleep you will lose more pounds. It means that if you sleep, you are actually making your body stronger, which makes it easier for you to lose weight.
Having enough sleep aids not only maintaining your weight, but it can also help people who are struggling with obesity and those who are overweight. When you go to bed early and get enough sleep at night, your body produces Leptin, which is a hormone made by your adipose cell that helps in balancing energy by inhibiting hunger and is often called as obesity or fat hormone.
When you do not have enough sleep, your body’s leptin level drops, making you feel tired and craving for food especially high fat and calorie foods (comfort food) making you sabotage your waistline.
6. Fight forgetfulness
Our brain processes all the memories of the day so if you do not have enough sleep the night before, those memories may be stored incorrectly by the brain; some may even be lost.
Study shows that people who go to bed early and sleep well are more likely to remember things that they ought to remember and those you do not get enough sleep tend to forget. Sleepiness slows down the thought processes in your brain and lowers your concentration and alertness abilities and excessive sleep-deprivation weakens the nerve connections making you forget things you have learned or experienced over the day leading to short-term memory loss.
We all live in a 24/7 society, which makes it difficult to go to bed early and get enough sleep, and the media and modern technologies does not make it easier for people to fall asleep as well. The supposed hours of sleeping have been replaced with either lounging in front of a television, browsing something in the net of socializing in the different networking sites.
What we don’t know is that the sleep-depriving habits of ours could affect our health and wellness. Sleep debt is like credit card debt. If you do not pay attention in paying then your body will face accumulated interest rates until it shuts down. Our body needs sleep, that’s for certain, and deprivation of it will result in short term and long term effects in our health.
Be responsible! Go to bed early and have a sound sleep every night.