10 Ways Sleep Can Improve Mental and Physical HealthKatie Taylor
You are getting very sleepy… actually, you probably already are sleepy. Sleep deprivation is a growing concern in Western society, and sleep deprivation is linked to a gamut of health and wellness problems—from weight gain to depression. Even if we do an excellent job of exercising, eating right, and monitoring blood sugar, sleep deprivation could rob us of many of the benefits we are supposed to enjoy from those good behaviors.
A well-rested body has positive effects on your mental, physical, and even spiritual well-being. Proper rest is also essential for controlling blood sugar, improving insulin sensitivity, and boosting immunity, which are all things people with diabetes can appreciate!
Still need convincing? Here are 10 ways your life improves with proper rest:
1. Better Glucose Control and Improved Insulin Sensitivity
The American Diabetes Association found that A1C levels were higher in people who slept less than 4.5 hours a night, and levels were best when study participants slept between 6.5 and 7.4 hours per night. Interestingly, sleeping too long was also linked with higher glucose levels.
Poor sleep can also decrease insulin sensitivity. A study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found that just one night of no sleep has the same effect on insulin resistance as 6 months of a high-fat diet.
2. Boost Immunity and Healing
Sleep is when your body resets and recharges. The heart and blood vessels recover from the stress of the day, and hormones released during deep sleep help repair the muscles, cells, and tissues. Rest also gives your body a chance to fight off sickness, whereas sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system. People running on insufficient sleep are more likely to get sick and will take longer to recover than fully-rested peers.