The Importance of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for helping us to maintain optimal health and well-being. So, when it comes to our health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can interfere with natural sleep patterns. Consequently, people are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well. Here are some of the contributing factors to The Importance of Sleep.
1. Poor Sleep is Linked to Higher Body Weight – The Importance of Sleep
Poor sleep has repeatedly been linked to a higher body mass index (BMI) and weight gain. For example, when you’re lacking sleep, it’s easy to lean on a large latte to get moving. You might be tempted to skip exercise (too tired), get a takeaway for dinner, and then go to bed late because you’re uncomfortably full. It’s a vicious cycle that can be hard to escape!
2. Better Productivity and Concentration – The Importance of Sleep
The first barrier to productivity is insufficient sleep. We don’t stress the importance of sleep. As a result, we feel less creative and focused, and have difficulty making decisions and solving problems. We have less energy and react slower. These are the effects of sleep deprivation. Thankfully, the relationship between sleep and productivity works both ways. Just as poor sleep worsens productivity, good sleep helps it!
3. Better Athletic Performance – The Importance of Sleep
According to the HSE, adequate sleep for adults is between 7 and 9 hours a night, and athletes may benefit from as many as 10 hours. Accordingly, sleep is as important to athletes as consuming enough calories and nutrients.
One of the reasons for this requirement is that the body heals during sleep. Other benefits include:
- better performance intensity
- more energy
- better coordination
- faster speed
- better mental functioning
4. More Social and Emotional Intelligence – The Importance of Sleep
Sleep has links to people’s emotional and social intelligence. To clarify, someone who does not get enough sleep is more likely to have issues with recognizing other people’s emotions and expressions. Lack of sleep causes people to become less social and therefore lonely. Moreover, these individuals are less likely to engage in conversations with others and may be very irritable. Extreme deprivation of sleep causes victims to avoid social interactions altogether.
Tricks and Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
In today’s world, sleeping can be difficult, particularly when all your screens (laptops, TVs, mobiles, tablets) lure you into staying up just a little longer.
The basics are pretty simple:
- Shut down your laptop, mobile, and TV at least an hour before you hit the hay.
- Create a bedtime ritual. It’s not the time to tackle big issues. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate, or read.
- Stick to a schedule, waking up and retiring at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime, which may cause heartburn and make it hard to fall asleep. And steer clear of fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours.
- Turn out the lights. Darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it.
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Annie is our Business Development Manager here at GourmetFuel. Annie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Food Innovation at the Technology University of Dublin. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked for a successful start-up company based in New York City where she gained valuable experience in product development, food safety, and allergen management and control. Her areas of interest are food business sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition research.
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