Do you ever wish you were able to hibernate like a bear? Well the truth is that bears don’t truly hibernate. They do slow down and go into a deep sleep during the winter months; but it is not a true hibernation. Bears go into a deep sleep to survive the cold and scarcity of food in the winter. While we don’t hibernate either, we also need to get the right amount and quality of sleep to help us survive and thrive. Sleep serves many purposes for us; but here are just a few for you to keep in mind:
1. Weight Loss
Getting enough sleep can help reduce the chances of being obese. Research has shown that people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight. This can be due to hormonal impacts from a lack of sleep. Poor sleep can lead to an increased appetite. Adding to this is the real risk that you will overeat if you are awake for more hours.
2. Building Muscle
Adequate amounts of sleep will allow your muscles to rest and recover. This is necessary to allow your body to build new muscle tissue without interruption. Sleep is recognized as a requirement for muscle growth by many fitness experts.
3. Immune System
Your immune system is designed to fight ailments. A lack of sleep can have a major impact on how successfully your body will be able to fight an illness. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a great way to make sure you have a healthy immune system. Having a healthy immune system will ensure it is able to effectively do its job of fighting off a wide variety of illnesses.
A proper amount of sleep can help decrease the amount of stress hormones and lower the level of inflammation in your body. From research published in Science Daily in 2008: “Loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can prompt one’s immune system to turn against healthy tissue and organs.” While you are sleeping your body is busy at work repairing damage.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help you feel more energized and alert. It can help prevent burnout and improve your memory and decision-making capabilities. Sleep-deprivation can lead you to be more distracted and cause you to have a harder time recovering from these distractions. All of this can lead you to make fewer mistakes and perform better overall on a day-to-day basis.
With that being said, wind down your day; take a warm bath; skip the post dinner coffee; turn off your phone and have a great night’s sleep. You will wake up to a healthier tomorrow.