In today’s’ time, most of us forfeit the hours that are necessary for a good night’s sleep. But we fail to understand what will happen to our body when we forfeit our sleep? Well, a lot will go wrong will we persistently forfeit the necessary hours of sleep. Sleep is an important part of living. It is a biological process which play a vital role to keep the human body in the best condition.
Getting enough and quality sleep is an important component for a healthy and balanced diet. Sleep is as important as eating. There are numerous evidence to conclude that a lack of sleep could lead to bad health as it is associated with the development of various health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Sleep is highly controlled by the brain, therefore, lack of sleep can have a significant impact on the functioning of the brain.
Have you ever wondered how the brain control sleep?
There is multiple numbers of nerve cells in the brain which are known as suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus and is responsible for regulating various important functions in the body, including sleep. Suprachiasmatic nucleus regulates the sleep through the production of hormone melatonin which makes an individual feel sleepy. As the suprachiasmatic nucleus is located near the optic nerve, it receives all the information regarding the light. Therefore, at nighttime when there is less light suprachiasmatic nucleus signals the brain to produce more melatonin at that time, resulting in sleepiness.
Why is sleep important?
Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation is associated with various impairments in the body which affects the overall body functions. Lacking sleep for a day or two may not cause a significant impact on the health, but prolonged exposure to sleep deprivation increases the risk of suffering from chronic health conditions. But of course, not sleeping for a night can also make you notice the difference. You must have noticed that insufficient or bad quality sleep can make you wake up cranky and in a bad mood the next day.
Multiple studies have stated that the effects of lack of sleep for a long time could cause an impairment in the cognitive and other systems in the body to such an extent that it can be compared to the effects of smoking or alcohol consumption on the body. The primary purpose of the sleep is to save energy, restore the body and brain, and organizing networks in the brain. Sleep deprivation can cause alterations in various processes in the body, such as alterations in the molecular processes which activate cellular immune, causing inflammatory cytokines. The functioning of the autonomic system is also affected by sleep, which further affects the blood pressure in an individual, resulting in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Research suggests that bad sleep habits are one of the causes of reduced quality of sleep. There is just a slight difference between the effects of lack of sleep and the effects of bad quality of sleep. Therefore, here is the list of some of the sleep habits you should adopt to have a healthy sleep pattern.
1. Do not consume caffeine close to bedtime
You must have heard that consuming coffee early in the morning helps you wake up or consuming it during the day helps you stay awake. Similarly, consumption of coffee or any drink that contains caffeine close to bedtime prevents you from sleeping. This is because coffee contains caffeine which acts as a stimulant and has a significant impact on the psychological pattern.
Caffeine inhibits the chemicals in the brain that promote sleep. It improves alertness and makes it harder for a person to sleep. This is one of the reasons why we often recommend coffee to people who want to stay active at night. The effects of coffee vary from person to person, as for person it makes it difficult for a person to sleep, whereas for the other person affect the quality of sleep by making him or her wake up very often.
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2. Avoid daytime napping
A number of studies have investigated the effects of daytime naps on nighttime sleep and how it affects the overall well being. Many researchers have stated that people who work in night shifts are more likely to suffer from health problem as compared to those who work on day shifts. This is because along with sleeping hours, our sleeping time is also associated with health.
power naps (naps that are for less than 20 minutes) are often considered to have beneficial effects on the body, too many power naps can affect your nighttime sleep. Many time we experience difficulty in falling asleep when we had taken a good nap in the afternoon. Therefore, avoiding daytime napping can help you sleep better and on time at night. Maintaining a bedtime routine is important.
3. Maintain a peaceful environment
Bedroom environment has a lot to do with the quality of sleep as a healthy bedroom environment promotes healthy sleep. Evidence suggests that the sleep could be affected by the indoor environment such as changes in the air temperature, noise, and light. Light is considered to be a powerful stimulating signal for the human alertness and also for the cognition. Melatonin is the primary hormone that is responsible for sleep and light during sleep is known to suppress melatonin, resulting in bad quality sleep or difficulty to sleep.
4. Avoid midnight snacking
There is no doubt that midnight snacking can have deleterious effects on the health of a person. It is one of the most important risk factors for weight gain or obesity and many people are aware of this effect of midnight snacking. But most people are unaware that midnight snacking can also affect sleep. The quality of sleep is known to be significantly affected due to midnight snacking. There are various mechanisms that could explain the reason behind this correlation. One of the common mechanism is that food consumed at night will take time to digest, resulting in heartburn which will affect the quality of sleep.
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