Posted on Mar 24, 2022, 2 p.m.
In the book “Why We Sleep”, Matthew Walker says, “Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.” A sound and good night's sleep is important for all, be it students, children, or adults of any profession. In this article, we delve deep into the various benefits that one gets from a healthy sleep habit. However, first, let us briefly understand the meaning of healthy sleep.
What is considered healthy sleep?
Sleep is the process through which human bodies get rest and recover from the stress of the day. A normal sleep cycle has 4 stages - light sleep (stages 1 and 2), deep sleep (stage 3), and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) (stage 4). During the course of the night, one cycles through these 4 stages of sleep multiple times.
An average adult requires between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period. This is termed quality sleep. Signs and symptoms of healthy sleep are -
- Waking up feeling refreshed.
- Having adequate energy throughout the day.
- Not feeling stressed out or agitated.
Healthy sleep is essential for the human body, both physically and mentally. Good sleep slows down the aging process, increases life expectancy, and prevents problems arising from stress and exhaustion.
Benefits of healthy sleep
Some of the biggest benefits of healthy sleep are mentioned below.
Healthy brain function and physical well-being
Sleep is vital for brain function. In students, sleep deprivation is a leading cause of irritability and the inability to learn fast. Students and teenagers prioritize coursework, assignments, and social experiences over their sleep. They often have to stay awake overnight to keep up with heavy coursework and assignments. However, they need to learn to balance various activities and focus on getting enough sleep and physical exercise. Lack of sleep can lead to mood swings in students, who may feel angry and impulsive and find it difficult to make friends. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep improves a student's learning capability, attention span, and ability to make decisions.
Sleep helps maintain or lose weight
In 2020, a study by Healthline found that adults who have less than 7 hours of sleep on average have a 41% higher risk of problems related to obesity. Healthy sleep regulates the hormonal cycle3 of the body. A good night's rest can also lead to one waking up feeling energetic and serves as a motivating factor for people to hit the gym or indulge in other forms of physical activity.
Healthy Sleep can strengthen the heart and immune system
Low sleep quality can increase the risk of heart-related diseases. During a sound night's sleep, the brain produces melatonin, which is essential for the body. During sleep, we also produce hormones and cytokines, which fight infections and inflammation4 in the body and facilitate a speedy recovery from diseases and sickness.
One of the largest demographic of people who don’t sleep enough is students. Education as an industry has become a highly competitive environment. Students are expected to perform well academically while also pursuing extracurricular activities. In the US, many students also fund their education on their own and hold part-time jobs. In such an environment, every form of help that students can get to ease the burden on themselves makes a huge impact. Reducing the stress that is placed on students will automatically give students more time to sleep and improve sleep quality (as there are fewer things on the student’s mind). This directly improves brain health and prevents depression.
Enables Athletic Achievement
Sleep loss has a direct negative impact on long endurance sports such as running or swimming. Lack of sleep results in loss of motivation levels and does not give the body enough time to recover physically from the exhaustion caused by playing sports.
Call It A Day
In conclusion, getting a night of good quality sleep can help us feel fresh and energetic throughout the day, every day. Good sleep improves memory, concentration, and creativity in students and people in general. Unfortunately, creating and maintaining healthy sleep habits is often neglected because of other priorities in life. Developing a healthy sleep habit is, thus, extremely important for an overall healthy lifestyle.
About the Author - Nicole Garrison is a prolific writer, so she contributes to SupremeDissertations and TrustMyPaper to ensure that students can get quality help. Her motto is aiding young minds on their way to a healthy future.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Content may be edited for style and length.
Materials provided by:
Why We Sleep - Matthew Walker https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/21/why-we-sleep-by-matthew-walker-review
What is Healthy Sleep | Sleep Foundation https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/what-is-healthy-sleep
US Department of Health & Human Services | NHLBI
10 reasons to get more sleep | Healthline
Why Getting Regular Sleep Is Crucial To Your Health And Well-Being | Forbes
Why Sleep is essential for Health | Medical News Today
How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health
Sleep disturbances and depression
Sleep and athletic performance