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10 Best Reasons to Sleep 8 Hours Every Night
Based on the latest scientific studies, here’s a list of some of the best reasons why you might want to start prioritizing sleep.
Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between how much we sleep and how healthy we are. Adding sleep to a life of healthy eating and exercise will add years to your life. Most importantly, it will increase the quality of those years.
During sleep, the hypothalamus (imagine a USB) sends waves to the frontal cortex (image the hard drive) with all the information from the specific date – feelings, emotions, images and data-. The USB gets emptied every night; if it didn't manage to forward all the information, it's lost and cannot be recovered. Not even if you oversleep the following day or during the weekend. Alzheimer and dementia are linked to sleep deprivation: brain scanning shows that, years before the symptoms are evident, both the hypothalamus and frontal cortex are abnormal.
Our subconscious processes the information from the day during sleep. If you have been wondering how to solve a specific problem, it will help you to find solutions. That is, if you consciously focus on your goals right before you sleep, your subconscious will work on possible solutions (note that the focus should not be on the problem, it should be on the desired outcome). The minutes before falling asleep we are in a state similar to hypnosis; hence we can influence ourselves positively (or negatively, depending on our own thoughts). Have you ever woken up with a bright idea?
Even if you’ve not yet reached your goals, you’ll feel happier because you will be more tolerant with yourself and others, thanks to the release of hormones that make you have more empathy, patience and self-love.
Moreover, what is success without the actual feeling of happiness? If you’re sleepless trying to achieve success, continue reading and carefully consider “why” do you want to achieve success.
Lack of sleep generates anger. Brain scans have revealed 60% increased reaction of the amygdala, which triggers anger and rage. Studies reveal that those who live longer, have a good social integration and close relationships. So, think about it, who wants to be around grumpy negative people?
To lead others, you must lead yourself. You are most certainly a role model for many, including your children. So, no matter who you are and how many people depend on you, you’ll be better equipped to act from a peaceful state of mind and not react with violence from a fearful perspective.
Our bodies are perfect machines and need the right nourishment to regenerate. A great part of its recovery happens during sleep.One single night sleeping only 4 hours diminishes our killing cells by 70%. Those are the cells that kill the cancer cells we all have in our body!
If you are aged 45 years or older sleeping less than six hours a night, you are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, as compared with those sleeping seven or eight hours a night.
Our intestines absorb more calories during the evening/night when we are awake and we crave more carbohydrates. Our blood sugar raises and so does the risk for having diabetes. If you decide to go to sleep instead of watching late TV shows, you obviously can’t eat and you’ll feel calmer in the morning.
Have you noticed that when you’ve slept too little you feel some anxiety? Anxiety can make us eat more to suppress our feelings.
Emotions from the day are processed in a safe mode during sleep through our dreams, which seem to be necessary to keep us balanced. Sleeplessness changes our perspective. A small problem can seem terrifying. Fear generates violence.
For example, in children, sleeplessness has been linked to aggression and bullying; in teenagers and young adults, to suicidal thoughts. Insufficient sleep is also associated with relapse in addiction and compulsive disorders.
Without sufficient sleep our sex drive and physical capacity diminishes. It is a fact that men who sleep less than 5 hours have significantly smaller testicles than those who sleep 8 hours. Imagine for a moment that you decide to sleep your necessary 7,5-9 hours and your sex drive increases. You probably know that an orgasm releases melatonin to help us sleep better and oxytocin -known as the love hormone- which also helps us reduce anxiety and depression, lowers blood pressure and improves digestion.
There are reasons why all living creatures sleep - we are the only ones that consciously deprive ourselves from it- There is also a reason why we are equipped to find joy in orgasms –why should we deprive ourselves from it? -.
What comes first, the problems or the lack of sleep?
Whatever the answer, our grandmothers’ advice “sleep on it” is perhaps the best place to start.
Some food for thought on World Sleep Day!
Giselle Valle is the founder of The Sleep Revolution® a lifestyle movement for better sleep based in Sweden; it created the first concept store dedicated to sleep the natural & sustainable way, based on research.
“We encourage people to prioritize sleep to restore their health- physical, mental and emotional. With enough sleep we are able to produce the hormones to regain the joy for living, have better relationships, lose weight, live longer and make better decisions. Sleep is the best medicine, and is free. We believe that better sleep will make a better world”
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