Anyone who has ever missed a proper night’s sleep can tell you: the amount of rest a person gets has a huge effect on their concentration and productivity. That’s why it’s so important to understand the benefits of quality sleep and how to get more of it.
Lack of sleep, or more specifically, lack of quality sleep, can have severe long-term effects on the body and brain. If the issue becomes chronic, it can negatively impact a person’s motivation, mood, and overall mental and physical health.
Here is a list of health problems that sleep deprivation can cause:
- Anxiety and depression
- Memory and concentration problems
- Digestive issues
- Sleep disorders
- Weight gain
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Lack of alertness
Why Do We Need Sleep?
Many biological processes occur during sleeping hours, and that is why we spend about one-third of our life sleeping. Sleep promotes our wellbeing through several factors. First off, we need sleep to conserve our energy. As we try to implement a healthy, active lifestyle, our time spent sleeping reduces the need for more calories and allows our metabolism to increase as we rest. It also helps with cellular restoration because as we sleep, our cells grow and repair. This includes muscle repair, tissue growth, and hormone release. During sleep, our bodies make antibodies and release cytokines, both of which are crucial for building a stronger immune system.
How Does this Impact an Active Lifestyle?
If you aren’t active, you might not need as much sleep as someone who is. But if you’re trying to lead an active lifestyle, your body will desperately need rest to perform at its best. That way, you’ll be able to have more workouts, without feeling fatigued. Most of us are familiar with that mid-workout feeling when you want to give up because you’re just so tired. And many of us have chosen sleep over a workout at some point in our lives. The goal is to schedule at least 7-8 hours of sleep, along with time for physical activity. If your workouts are more intense, you might even need more than 8 hours to recharge your mind and body. It’s important to rest and recover your muscles, and that’s simply because sleep and exercise are both key components of a healthy and active lifestyle.
How Important Is Rest and Recovery?
While being active is important for your health, so is resting and recovering. To build muscle, you need to go to the gym. But don’t forget that following the tearing of muscle fibers in the gym, your muscles only grow stronger through the repair process that occurs when you rest and sleep at night.
Recovery time is crucial when it comes to letting your muscles repair and grow stronger. That’s why you should always pay attention to your sleep schedule. Sleep will make you feel more energized, help you work out harder, and help you build muscle quicker than if you were to have a poor sleep routine. When your muscles are allowed appropriate time to recover, you are also much more likely to come back stronger than ever and feel more energized.
How Does Sleep Affect My Motivation?
Research has shown that having an inconsistent sleep schedule, as well as getting an inadequate amount of sleep can seriously affect your motivation. So, if you’re really struggling to accomplish a goal, try fixing your sleep habits. There will be a huge difference in your motivation, mindset, and overall performance. This is important for maintaining an active lifestyle that involves physical activity which requires you to be up and moving throughout the day. So, whether you’re trying to integrate going to the gym, playing a sport, or just going on walks more often, learning how to sleep better is super important.
How Is Sleep Regulated?
When we don’t get enough sleep, we produce cortisol — the body’s main stress hormone. A little bit of cortisol is needed and can be useful, however, too much cortisol can leave us feeling constantly stressed. And that stress can lead to many unwanted health problems.
Think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm clock. It functions with other parts of our body to control our mood, fear response, and adrenaline. Not only that, but it plays an important role in several important bodily functions. For example: it manages how our body uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It regulates our blood pressure. It boosts energy throughout our body and brain. And lastly, it controls our sleep and wake cycle. Simply put, cortisol promotes alertness in the morning and influences our sleep-wake cycle by lowering its level at night so that we feel less awake and sleepier.
Too much stress and lack of sleep can seriously derail our cortisol level. Imagine being under constant stress and the alarm clock just won’t turn off. It’s not a pleasant experience. When that happens, we start to develop problems with our health. This is because when we don’t get enough sleep, our mind and body cannot function fully, and that feeling of tiredness can slowly but surely bleed into our daily lives, affecting the way we function, move, and think.
To understand how sleep is regulated, we need to understand our body’s circadian rhythm. We all have an internal clock that regulates certain biological functions in our brain over a 24-hour cycle, letting us know when we should be awake, and when we should sleep. As our cortisol level rises in the morning, our circadian rhythm will wake us up, and as it lowers during the night, another hormone called melatonin will be released, as a reminder that it’s time for bed. Having a healthy amount of cortisol and melatonin is important for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm, as they both play a substantial role in how our natural sleep cycle works.
Light is a big influence on our circadian rhythm. As natural light appears in the morning, certain signals get sent to our brain, releasing cortisol – waking us up while also giving us a boost of energy. And as the natural light dims and begins to disappear into the night, our cortisol level will lower, and our melatonin level will rise, letting our body know that it’s time to relax and fall asleep as we begin to feel drowsy.
How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need?
Realistically, there are some people who can function well with little sleep, while others need their eight hours or more. Research has shown that getting at least seven hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep is the optimal amount for your health. Sleep allows your mind and body to recharge, so that you’ll wake up the next morning feeling refreshed, alert, and eager to take on the day. Without enough sleep, your concentration, mental clarity, and ability to process information can be impaired.
While most adults require at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, other factors such as underlying medical conditions, a disruptive environment, and day-to-day stressors can prevent you from getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, this can leave a negative impact on the way you manage your daily lifestyle. Natural sleep aids such as those that contain ingredients like melatonin, 5-HTP and GABA are scientifically proven to help treat sleep deprivation.
Just like food and water, we need to remember that sleep is a biological necessity. The hours we spend sleeping are incredibly important as sleep affects our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Getting enough sleep can really make a difference to your mental health, mood, and ability to make good decisions. It’s also important for the function of our heart and other organs and provides us with the energy we need to be active. Whether we’re playing a sport, going on a walk, going to the gym, or doing some heavy lifting, we rely on sleep to give us energy.
How Can I Get Better Sleep?
The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, we want to help you find ways to get better sleep with the following tips:
- Have a consistent sleep schedule, and try to stick to it even on weekends.
- Implement a wind down routine before you sleep (for example: listen to calming music, journal, or meditate).
- Open a window. Cool air can improve your quality of sleep and help you relax.
- Make sure you are not hungry before going to bed, however, also avoid eating a large meal before bed.
- Try to fall asleep before midnight, as earlier bedtimes usually provide higher quality sleep.
- Make sure that the room is dark, quiet, and free of distractions.
- Have an exercise routine. Being active during the day can tire you out when night comes.
- Try natural sleep aids, such as sleep vitamins, and supplements.
As a leading sports, fitness, and wellness company, Can-i Wellness offers high quality, third-party lab-tested sleep supplements. When it comes to finding a sleep solution, our Can-i Sleep product line can help end your sleepless nights by helping you relax, fall asleep and stay asleep. It has a blend of melatonin, 5-HTP, and GABA and many other vitamins, nutraceuticals, and herbal extracts. Together, these amazing key ingredients provide an effective herbal sleep aid that is not only powerful, but safe.