Productive, restful sleep is vital to all living creatures. Poor sleeping habits affect your energy, your immunity, your weight and skin. How does sleep impact the body? If you think of the body as a car then sleep is the battery that stores the energy the body needs to run on. The calories you ingest in your food are the fuel for the body, and sleep is the battery that holds the energy needed to burn that fuel.
So sleep is not only necessary but vital to maintain your health and a good quality of life. Researchers have found that too little (or too much) sleep can affect your health negatively, even increasing your risk of serious diseases and death.
There are many reasons why sleep is so critical to both extending your life and decreasing it. Take for example your weight and metabolism. Lack of sleep is known to alter the hormone levels in your body that control when you are hungry and how hungry you’ll get. And since sleep deprivation causes a lack of energy, you may end up reaching for the donut and sugary energy drinks to overcompensate, starting a never ending cycle that leads to more lack of sleep, weigh gain, obesity which put you at a higher of developing preventable diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Here are 6 ways in which quality sleep can help extend your life:
A strong, healthy immune system is the key to longevity but also the key to preventing non-life-threatening illnesses. Quality sleep will improve your immunity in the same way that not getting enough sleep will damage it. When you are sleep deprived your body is more vulnerable to viruses, bacteria and illness in general. It also puts you at risk for diseases of the heart, stroke and depression.
Increases Sense Of Well-Being
Research is beginning to show that happy people live longer. If you have a strong sense of well-being about yourself and your life, you increase your chances of living a long healthy life. The chemical serotonin is the source of this sense of well-being and productive sleep will help the body to produce it.
Strengthens The Liver
Regular, quality sleep helps to prevent liver disease. Without regular sleep the liver not only cannot process fat, it actually begins to store fat. A fatty liver can lead to weight gain, and an array of other metabolic health issues.
Inflammation has long been considered the root cause of many of the preventable diseases plaguing the Western World, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many autoimmune diseases. It is also believed that inflammation is one of the major causes of the aging process and the deterioration of the body. A quality night sleep can aid in the reduction of inflammation in the body.
Assists Body Self-Repair
Sleep is a major factor in the body’s ability to repair itself. A good night sleep helps your body repair, restore and replenish. Damaged tissues, infections and inflammations are all repaired more effectively with high quality sleep.
May Assist In Weight Loss
We now know that if you don’t have enough sleep it can cause weight gain. Obesity is a major roadblock to living a long and healthy life. Certain hormones that regulate appetite are affected greatly by the amount of sleep you get. High quality sleep will help you fight cravings and increase your metabolism, aiding in the weight loss process.
It can be tough to put yourself first this time of year, but get some sleep this holiday season! Your body will thank you.
Jovanka Ciares is a bi-lingual wellness expert + nutrition coach based in NYC + LA. With a rare talent for making healthy living fun, simple + sexy, Jovanka’s approach to mind-body wellness has earned her thousands of fans the world over — and regular slots on Fox News, NPR, CBS Radio, Telemundo, The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen. Jovanka is the author of three books, and the creator of a transformational online program: The Clean Foods Diet Method. She’s been called a “miracle worker,” a “total spitfire” and “the woman to call for a wellness smackdown.” Meet Jovanka + sign up for her provocative wellness newsletter, The Weekly Jolt, at www.JovankaCiares.com.