Sleep is an important process that our body needs in order to recuperate after a long day. Normally, adults will need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day, but we are not just talking of meeting the required number of hours, but also the quality of our sleep.

You see, sleep helps in restoring our body to its normal state based on how we respond to stress as well as our autonomic nervous system which is the one regulating the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. The parasympathetic system refers to rest as well as our digestive system, while the sympathetic system is the one that is causing us to either fight or run away when danger presents itself. When there is an absence of rest or adequate sleep, an imbalance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems occur.

If you are wondering why we really need to get quality sleep, here are a few reasons that you should take note of.

Regulates hormones

One of the reasons why you need quality sleep is that it helps with your hormone production. When you have been skipping on sleep, there is a decrease in the growth hormone that your body is producing which can affect your overall development. This is one of the reasons why your body is slow to heal.

Manages weight

When you are getting enough sleep, you are less likely to become overweight since the hormones, ghrelin and leptin, the ones that control your satiety and hunger, are balanced. You see, when you are missing out on your much-needed sleep, your body tends to crave for food to help fuel your body. Unfortunately, this can lead to eating more than your usual amount which can add to your weight.

Improves performance

Have you ever wondered why there are days when you just want to laze around doing nothing, and then there are days when you are ready to conquer the world? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to the amount of sleep that you are getting, those days when you’re not up to your working standards are usually inline with the days when you are not getting enough sleep. If you wish to maintain your performance at school or at work, make sure that you are getting quality sleep all the time.

Detoxification

You might not know this, but our brain needs sleep for it to undergo detoxification. This is where all the toxins, that have accumulated with every chemical reaction that happens in our brain, are expelled from the body. The antioxidant, glutathione, is produced in the liver and is needed to protect us from chronic illnesses. When we are deprived of sleep, our body isn’t producing enough glutathione to protect us.

Enhances memory

Another reason why we need sleep is that it helps with enhancing our memory. When we experience sleep disturbance, or lack of sleep, for that matter, our memory becomes affected. This can be made worse when our stress levels go up because of our elevated cortisol levels. If you want to be able to keep your memory running smoothly, you need to make sure that you are getting decent hours of sleep.

Boosts our immune system

If you’ve been missing out on sleep, you’ll find yourself more prone to common colds and cough. This is because our immune system has been compromised. Sleeping the recommended hours of sleep and achieving quality sleep is going to make you feel healthy and well protected against various illnesses.

As you can see, it’s just the number of hours of sleep that is important, but also the quality of sleep that we are getting to ensure that we reap the benefits that come with it.

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