Let’s keep this really simple and get to the point. If you get 7-9 hours of sleep, you can improve your immune system (according to the National Sleep Foundation) and therefore continue living your fabulous life as a healthy human being. Never before have the people of the world been more serious about improving their health and well-being. With the rise deaths due the Covid-19 pandemic, individuals are wanting to know how to stay healthy and avoid getting ill.
When you don’t get enough sleep, the hypothalamus is not a happy soul.
So, what’s sleep got to do with that?
Lots! Your hypothalamus is an important part of the brain which controls many hormone related functions such as weight regulation, body temperature and sleep cycles. It wants to maintain homeostasis (balance in the body) and controls your circadian rhythm, which is basically your sleep/wake cycle. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hypothalamus is not a happy soul. Oh no! She goes on a mission! She will work as hard as she can to drive neural activity to your brain, endocrine system (which controls your hormones) and your nervous system so you get adequate sleep. She doesn’t play!
Now, the reason your hypothalamus does this, is to protect you. She cares for you girl! For if you do not get enough sleep, your immune system becomes vulnerable to infection and chronic inflammation and she ain’t having that!
Cytokines are a type of protein that fight infection and inflammation. When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces less cytokines.
We need lots of cytokines.
Whereas on the flip side, when you do get enough sleep, not only is your girl hypothalamus happy and at peace but you also get more cytokines and…
- Improved immune function
- An increased likelihood of warding off colds and flu (did you clock this?)
- A lowered risk of getting cancer
- Better brain activity (you get smarter)
- Enhanced mood levels (you’re less likely to get depressed or anxious)
- A lowered risk of a heart attack, stroke and diabetes
- Improved skin quality (hello!)
…it’s about giving your body a fighting chance of being on this earth for longer.
So, it’s got to make sense to go to bed at a decent time. It’s not just about getting beauty sleep (although no one will say no to that, surely?) but it’s about giving your body a fighting chance of being on this earth for longer.
That’s got to be a no-brainer?
How much sleep do you get on average night and what techniques do you use to ensure you get a good night’s sleep?