Most of us want to feel and perform every day or at least we want to feel better and be able to go through all activities and accomplish our daily goals as best as possible but even when we want all this we do not prioritize sleep. I know some days is impossible to go to bed early and get 8 hours of quality sleep but, how many times have you stayed up late watching one more episode of Game of Thrones, a Harry Potter or Avengers movies?
I think that if we understand what happens when we sleep we will consider to give it the importance it deserves and even if we can´t get 8 hours every night we can make some changes to our lifestyle and adopt good habits that will improve the quality of our sleep and get at least 6 hours every night which will impact our life positively.
We´re going to keep it simple, we´ve seen in the post called Phases of sleep that there are 4 phases ( if you want to know more about it click here), for now we will stay with REM sleep and deep sleep.
During this part of sleep all the healing and repairing in the body occurs, here the body is working on recovering from the day and recover, healing and growing. Growth hormone is released during this phase but all other hormones like leptin, ghrelin, insulin are also working, the same with the systems of our body like digestive, immune they´re all working together to recover and build muscle, skin, hair.
During deep sleep our physical body is recovering, healing and growing.
In this part of sleep the focus is on our brain and memory, t during this phase our brain is remembering all the information of the day and it´s when it memorize and learn, even when memory consolidation requires both deep sleep and REM studies show that if you have any sleep issue during this stage people tend to be more forgetful. Dreams are experienced most vividly during this stage and even when the reasons or purpose of dreams are not clear it may be to help us process information and emotions.
During REM sleep our brain, mind and memory are processing information focusing on learning and memorizing.
It´s clear that we need enough good quality sleep and we need to go through both phases repeatedly every night, lack of sleep impacts all the process that´s going on while we sleep that is why it´s harder to stay focused on what we´re doing, we tend to be more forgetful and we are more susceptible to get sick.
Optimal health physically and mentally requires good quality sleep, this compliments the other 4 principles of fitness so developing good habits for each of them leads to a better life, it´s not about being perfect in one of them, it´s about improving in all of them. If you can´t get 8 hours of sleep every day try getting 6 hours and focus on making those 6 hours the best and use tools to reduce stress which will help you improve the quality of sleep, eat real, fresh foods, workout every day and stay as far as possible from negative people, be more positive all day.
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