Why You Really Need Eight Hours Of Sleep
A third of our life takes place in the land of nod, and it's important that we get enough sleep to keep us pumped for everything that happens in the other two thirds. Aside from keeping us sprightly for the day ahead, eight hours of sleep has been proven to have many mental and physical-health benefits. Start making a conscious effort to switch off earlier and let your body get the sleep it needs – you'll see a difference in no time! The new generationIt’s common knowledge that whenever we go to sleep, our bodies use this time for self-repair. We enter an anabolic state, where bodily processes like adrenalin secretion become limited and our bodies prioritize the production of HGH (human growth hormone) to keep us fighting fit. Regulating circadian rhythm keeps your body at optimum regeneration, so you can recover faster from the aches and pains of your day. Remix to cognitionWhile the science isn't quite there on how sleep helps with cognition, the brain retains information and memories better when we get a good night's sleep. Some of it is common sense: when you're tired, it's pretty hard to focus or remember. However, the act of sleeping after learning something new helps lock memories into the brain (a process called “consolidation”), so that we can recall them later. Getting a good night's sleep also helps in the creation of new memories, and our ability to focus and learn is improved when we’re rested. Decisions, decisionsEver become cranky and made a rash decision while operating on no sleep? That's a pretty common experience. Basically, when we don't get enough sleep, the link between the prefrontal cortex in the brain (where important decisions are made) and the amygdala (where emotions are regulated) is weakened. Not only is judgment thrown out the window, but so is your good mood. For an extreme example of this, research suggests that the Chernobyl disaster was caused partially because workers were suffering 13-hour days and getting little sleep, resulting in one of the worst accidents in human history. Better with ageGetting more sleep is directly correlated with living longer. According to a study conducted on women aged 50-79, those who got less than five hours of sleep a night were more likely to die earlier than those who slept longer. On top of that, getting seven to eight hours of sleep can help prevent heart disease, and the C-reactive protein, released by the liver to combat inflammation in the body, has been proven to be higher in people who get six hours of sleep or more. Peak performanceTrying to break your personal exercise records? Get a full night's sleep and it'll help you get there. Stanford University conducted a study on college football players, charting their sleep patterns against performance. Players who slept longer for seven to eight weeks or more nailed their usual sprint times and had stamina to burn, meaning they were able to get the most out of their workout.
Have a good night’s sleep!