While scientists continue to research why humans sleep, all of them have reached the same conclusion. A good sleep ritual plays a crucial part in a long healthy life. Findings from many types of research and trials reveal that people who enjoy good quality sleep for at least 8 hours are less vulnerable to infections and complicated diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions and obesity.
Research reveals that sleeping fewer changes the metabolic pathways that control our appetite. Hence, when we fail to sleep, our body begins to pack on pounds. Moreover, we also acquire more infections such as the common cold, which is because the quality and quantity of our sleep depend on immunity.
According to scientists, sleep recharges our brains and enhances our body’s functions. A good sleep pattern helps to optimize our cardiovascular systems and metabolic rates. People who suffer from a sleep disorder not only experience mental and physical fatigue, they also become more susceptible to serious illnesses
Here are a few ways sleep affects longevity.
Poor sleep leads to a weak memory and drowsiness, which prevents us from performing at our best at work or home. However, these short-term effects lead to more serious consequences if we don’t make any effort to fix our sleep problems. These may include depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders that result in a weakened immunity.
It is not surprising to know that we are likely to get sick due to lack of sleep. Scientists recently found out that sleeping for less than seven hours a night can put us three times more at risk of acquiring several diseases than those who enjoy a good sleep of eight hours a night, on an average, which is why after a good night’s sleep, we feel rejuvenated.
Scientists state that the free radicals responsible for premature aging die while we sleep. When you sleep, your cells are highly active. This phenomenon occurs because there is a limited breakdown of proteins. As proteins are the building blocks of the human body, they are responsible for producing more cells and taking care of any damage due to stress and sun exposure, which implies that a good sleep is also necessary for a younger looking skin.
Melatonin aids in regulating our body’s sleep clock. Since its levels eventually decrease with age, the older population has trouble sleeping. Many melatonin supplements may help them to accomplish a good night’s sleep.
Scientists believe that sleeping less than six hours a night triggers the risk of an early death. However, sleeping for more than nine hours also cuts down life expectancy.
How much sleep do we require? Newborns should sleep for 16-18 hours, young children must get around 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and older children and teens must sleep for at least nine hours. Adults can benefit from an eight-hour sleep whereas senior citizens must sleep for at least nine hours or more to recharge their systems to enjoy their golden days fully.