Why Sleep Is More Important than Exercise or Diet

Posted On Monday, 07 August 2017
Why Sleep Is More Important than Exercise or Diet

Few people exist in this world who dislike sleeping. For the unusual portion, their reason for the distaste is that it’s a waste of time.

The truth is that couldn’t be more wrong, seeing that sleep is one of the most important foundations of a healthy life... something most of us aren’t aware of, because we take it for granted.

For those who experience sleep issues, getting a good night’s rest is a blessing. This attitude is how we should see it, as being rested allows us to function normally in our everyday lives.

For every aspect of your health, from hormone regulation to staying fit, sleep is vital.

Here are some more reasons why you should do your best to sleep well (and enough) every night.

Sleeping Well Helps Your Immune System

The main reason you sleep is to allow your body to recharge and replenish. The lack of sleep directly affects your immune system. If you don’t have an established sleeping routine you more or less stick to, your body doesn’t have enough time to keep all the protection systems up to date, so to speak, which means you’re more prone to inflammations and health issues of all kinds.

If you catch a bug on a whim and get sick whenever it’s flu season, it means that your immune system needs some serious strengthening. One of the best ways to do this is to sleep at least seven hours daily and eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods. Unless you give your body a chance to rest, you can definitely expect more health problems, resulting from an immune system that just isn’t strong enough.

Sleep Well & You’ll Stress Less

Response to stressful situations varies, based on whether you’ve had a good night of shut-eye vs. when you’re sleep deprived. Sleep helps you in every possible way, including the fact that it tinkers with your stress levels. When you sleep enough during the night, chances are you will respond to stressful situations much better. What’s more, when you’re able to remain calm in the face of a critical situation, you’re helping your heart remain healthy because your blood pressure and cholesterol levels aren’t constantly spiking and endangering your heart. Man-Stressed3

Being collected and calm when everything seems to be going to the dogs is much more difficult if you’re sleep deprived, because your metabolism and your mind are tired, so your reactions will be based much more on your instincts instead of reasonable thinking.

No Sleep = No Staying in Shape

If you only sleep for 5-6 hours a night and are trying to lose weight, you’re setting yourself up for a failure, no matter how hard you’re trying to squeeze workouts and a healthy diet into your busy schedule.

When you don’t sleep long enough, any effort you put into staying in shape will give you about a half of results you expect; mostly because of the hormones that are going haywire and impacting your metabolism.

Whether you suffer from clinical insomnia or you still haven’t found a way for your partner to stop snoring, the poor quality of your sleeping will have consequences on your attempts to lose weight.

The troublemakers here are the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are in charge of your appetite. When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin is on the loose, which means that your appetite will only grow. Satisfaction that comes from eating will decrease, and you will constantly want to eat more. If you have sleeping patterns that work for you and you rest enough, leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone will work on your side. You will eat fewer calories, be more motivated to work out, and in general, you will feel better about yourself.

Sleep Is Crucial for Better Memory & Creativity

If you’ve ever studied for an exam, then woke up the next day and had a feeling you knew things you read about better, you’re completely right.

Creativity-ConceptSleep helps with memory consolidation. While your body is resting, your mind is busy getting the things you’ve learned throughout the day collected and in order so you can use them to your leisure.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you can feel that you’re not at your sharpest, your concentration comes and goes, and your problem-solving skills definitely need more time, even in the simplest of situations.

All of this shows that your mind and cognition are very seriously affected by the lack of sleep. So, if you’re ever tempted to pull an all-nighter, don’t! Chances are you won’t perform optimally and suffer the consequences.  

When it comes to creativity, sleep is also important in the context that your brain is much more productive and able to reconstruct your memories, as well as come up with new ideas when it’s rested. It’s also true that sometimes the deepest epiphanies come to us in our dreams, so never underestimate the difference that seven hours of solid sleep can make.

It can be quite difficult to grasp the significance of healthy sleeping habits, but if you believe you have a problem with any of the aforementioned areas in your life, think about your quality of sleep.

Sometimes the answers are as simple as going to sleep early and waking up with the sun, so why not try it?

Theresa Brawner

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st in her free time. When she isn't helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.

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