Sleep your way to better health
Blog content provided from the legendary team at Northern Inland Academy of Sport
Sleeping patterns can differ from person to person. One person may consistently overindulge with 12 hours of sleep and function well (or even feel more lethargic from doing so). Whereas someone else could consistently live off five or fewer hours of sleep and feel they are fit to function!
The key thing to remember is that sleeping habits can play an important role in how your body and brain cope with your surroundings throughout the day.
But what classifies as a good night’s sleep and how can you sleep better?
On average, adults should aim to receive between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. It is also recommended that you limit caffeine before bed, create a healthy and regular sleeping routine, resolve issues causing you stress before going to bed (meditation is always a good option), and limit the use of electronic screens within 60 minutes of going to bed.
Healthline discusses 6 ways that sleeping habits can impact your mind and body and we’ve expanded a little below.
Sleeping patterns can affect athletic performance
Getting a good night’s sleep is a major contribution to a better athletic performance. Poor sleep and regular restless nights have been known to negatively impact the accuracy of movements, reaction time, decision-making skills, and can also increase the risk of injuries.
Sleeping patterns are linked to mental health
The amount of quality sleep we get in a night can be directly related to our mental health. Multiple disruptions during bedtime can interrupt the natural stages you go through when you sleep and can increase the symptoms of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. The later phase of sleeping known as the REM stage is vital because it is the restorative part of our sleep cycle and is when most of our dreams occur. The REM stage is linked to a person’s emotional health, which is why being interrupted during this stage can negatively affect your mental health.
A good sleeping pattern can improve your concentration levels
Bad sleeping patterns can also affect your level of concentration. A lack of sleep obviously leads to tiredness, but in turn, it can also lead to a shorter attention span. Getting consistent, uninterrupted, and a quality amount sleep promotes higher levels of focus which can have a positive impact on your school, work, university, and everyday life.
Poor sleeping patterns can lead to weight gain
Poor sleep has also been linked to weight gain. There have been multiple studies that show people who have poor sleeping habits (such as sleeping less than five hours a night) are more likely to gain weight and develop issues with obesity – which is another reason why it is so important to get a good night’s sleep!
Sleep can impact your physical health
Sleeping less than the recommended hours, or having consistently interrupted sleep, has adverse impacts on your physical health. People with poor sleep are prone to developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. This is due to hormonal changes and imbalances that occur from lack of sleep that impact your glucose levels.
It may not seem like much, but a good night’s sleep does a lot of good to your mental and physical wellbeing.
To learn more about fitness and wellbeing visit the Wellness Hub.
Sleeping habits can impact not only the average person but athletes too. Keep up to date with the NIAS athletes here.