Wonders of a good night’s sleep you didn’t know
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Wonders of a good night’s sleep you didn’t know

Livewell: Health Insurance & Wellness Blogs | Max Bupa

Wonders of a good night’s sleep you didn’t know

Max Bupa

10 November 2020

Most of you have experienced it; a night of poor sleep following which you need to literally drag yourself out of bed after putting your alarm on snooze a couple of times. And besides spending the entire day feeling tired and cranky, you crave caffeine, sweets and other junk food due to a lack of good sleep. On the flip side, seven to nine hours of good sleep will leave you feeling refreshed. You might even jump out of bed, feeling positive and ready to conquer the day. 

Did you know that in addition to a healthy diet and regular exercise, good sleep is incredibly vital for taking care of your health and improving your immune system? Surprised?

 

Read on to know a few more health benefits of a good night’s sleep: 

 

1) Helps in maintaining optimum body weight 

Skipping sleep can sabotage your weight loss efforts by disturbing your body metabolism. A common lifestyle mistake that many of you might be engaging in is staying awake and active late at night when you’re supposed to be sleeping. When you sleep for fewer hours, you tend to get tired easily and have less energy. Also, those with less sleep have higher levels of the ‘hunger’ hormone or ghrelin and lower levels of the ‘satiety’ hormone or leptin; hormones that signal hunger and fullness respectively in your body. This combination makes you crave sugary food to boost energy levels. Lack of sleep even makes you lose control over your appetite, and as a result, you tend to eat a lot of unhealthy food. Therefore, good sleep plays an essential role in regulating how your body uses food for energy and keeps calories in check. 

 

2) Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity

One of the key importance of good sleep is enhancing your attention span and keeping your mind from drifting through the day. Your mind is active, alert; it can function optimally and has ample energy to devote to simple or complex tasks. 

Good sleep positively impacts your concentration, risk assessment, reaction time, and strategic thinking. Hence, the next time you have to make a critical decision or attend an important meeting, sleep well. 

 

3) Good sleep helps you maintain a healthy heart 

Your heart needs just as much rest as the rest of your body, and good sleep is the right remedy for it. Besides, lack of sleep increases your chances of developing high blood pressure. When your body is preparing to wake up, it triggers your cardiovascular system to increase your blood pressure. So, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body will find it hard to make up for this rise in blood pressure, which can eventually affect your heart. 

Did you know one in three Indian adults suffers from high blood pressure? Getting good sleep is one of the best ways to battle this. When you sleep, your heart and the connected blood vessels get a well-deserved break, and blood pressure naturally decreases. 

Note, high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. So, make sleep a priority to maintain a healthy heart and look after your cardiovascular health.

 

4) Sleep helps control type-two diabetes

While eating healthy, following a healthy diet and regular exercise are the first things that come to mind to manage diabetes, those concerned should also consider quality sleep. 

Sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to use glucose efficiently and makes you more insulin resistant. Also, it’s common to make up for lack of sleep by consuming an excessive amount of food to gain energy via calories. This results in a rise in blood sugar, making it difficult for you to get good sleep. This increases the chances of obesity, which is a major risk factor for type-two diabetes. 

 

5) Sleep improves the immune system 

Your body rests and repairs when you’re asleep. Good sleep helps your immune system identify and eliminate foreign invaders. It also enables your immune cells to remember such trespassers, so if your body re-encounters these viruses or bacteria, it’s ready to fight them. 

Better quality of sleep strengthens the immune response of your body and helps your body fight bacteria and viruses swiftly and effectively as compared to when you’re fatigued. Improving your immune system is vital for maintaining good health and keep illnesses at bay. 

 

Apart from following a good sleep-wake cycle, you must also eat at the right time and the right quantity. And if you have a desk job, try taking little walks once every few hours and stretch your body so that it doesn’t stiffen-up. Small changes like these in your daily routine will result in beneficial health effects. In addition to this, to safeguard yourself from medical emergencies, invest in a health insurance plan. For instance, health insurance plans like Max Bupa’s GoActive is specially designed to promote an active and healthy lifestyle. Apart from covering hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, organ transplant and others, GoActive offers you a health coach to help you reach your fitness targets. What’s more – you get rewards for meeting your health goals, for example – up to 20% discount on renewal premium. So, get health insurance like GoActive now and let nothing come in between you and your health aspirations. 

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