How Better Sleep Can Help You Live Longer
As humans, sleep is one of the most critical aspects of our lives. We need at least eight hours of it every night, and that means anything and everything we’re doing throughout the day must be cut short to ensure we’re getting enough sleep.
Each one of us has likely invested in a great bed, mattress and designed a bedroom that’s focused on aiding sleep. But how many of us know just how important sleep really is?
In society today being tired, overworked and lacking sleep is praised and getting adequate sleep is seen as lazy. Though, what if we told you that sleep improves more than just tiredness, but life expectancy too.
Let’s take a look below at how sleep can actually help you live longer and why you should be getting more of it.
Sleep Reduces Likelihood of Heart Problems
To start, adequate sleep reduces your risk of one of Australia’s biggest killers, heart disease. Research has shown us that getting enough sleep on a routine basis will drastically reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and hypertension.
You might also notice that by heading off to bed early you’re affecting your heart indirectly. By this we mean you’re better rested and able to exercise through the day, improving your heart health.
Primarily, getting at least eight hours of sleep a night will keep your heart from ageing rapidly. That said, if you work a great sleep schedule into your daily life from a young age, you’ll be keeping your heart as healthy as possible, thus extending its lifespan. Just remember the gym is essential too.
Sleep Strengthens the Immune System
As many of us would agree, lack of sleep leaves us feeling sick each morning and can often eventually lead us to get sick. Not only does this cycle take a toll on our mental health, but it also helps to weaken our bodies over long periods of time, which is terrible for our lifespan.
The more frequently we are sick, the weaker or body’s essential organs will continue to be, and this can open us up to more severe illnesses if we catch them when we’re already out for the count. Think about times you’ve heard on the news about people who were already ill getting the flu. They’re often bedridden in a hospital room or sadly pass away.
In line with the immune system, sleep can help us live longer by regulating weight and reducing the likelihood of obesity. Take a look below.
Sleep Assists with Weight Control
One of the most common sleep studies undertaken by sleep clinics revolves around sleep’s ability to help us lose weight by burning it as we sleep, as well as controlling cravings of bad foods.
This weight control is incredibly useful when it comes to living longer. There’s nothing better than having a well-rested body that isn’t craving sugary snacks all the time, and our organs will thank us for that.
To add to this, those with sleep apnea are often far more likely to be overweight or obese, which is often touted as a direct result of lack of sleep!
That said, if you’re someone who snores or suffers from sleep apnea, you may benefit from a CPAP machine from online stores cpap.com.au which could turn out to be a way to cure your tired mornings and cut back your unexpected weight gain.
Sleep Improves Mental Health
A surprising statistic to many is that poor mental health and issues such as depression and anxiety have direct repercussions on human lifespan.
Those of us who are anxious, stressed or depressed are more likely to have a majorly reduced life expectancy. However, lifestyle changes that can improve sleep, or improved sleep in general, can significantly reduce anxiety, depression and stress symptoms and put sufferers on the path to a longer life.
It’s also important to remember that anxiety, stress and depression have similar symptoms to severe lack of sleep. What this means is that lacking sleep can bring on these mental health problems, but these problems can also bring on a lack of sleep – in a toxic cycle. A cycle that seemingly increases the risk of death.
Sleep Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Disease
One area of sleep that a vast majority of the population overlooks is its ability to assist the brain in memory consolidation and the development of neural networks.
Without a great routine sleep pattern, you could see significant cognitive declines such as memory loss, the ability to ‘think straight’ and problem solve. You might also witness the development of Alzheimer’s later (or earlier) in life.
Studies have shown us that although Alzheimer’s or dementia doesn’t increase risk of death directly, it does bring with it a suite of health issues that can drastically reduce human lifespan. Health issues such as pneumonia come with Alzheimer’s and when in old age, these issues can be disastrous.