Why You Need a Good Night’s Sleep

Better Night's Sleep
7/17/2014

You're more likely to get sick and gain weight if you don't.

Sure, the staff at Mattress Mart specializes in helping you get a good night's sleep. But just what is a good night's sleep and do you really need it?

If you're someone who tosses and turn at night but you haven't gotten around to looking for a new mattress, you might want to move that up on your priority list If instead you're the kind of person who's on the go with so much demand on your time from work and other activities that you get up early and go to bed late, slow down for a minute. Sit back, put your feet up, relax and we'll tell you why you need a good night's sleep. It's not because you'll save money on all those energy drinks you buy in the middle to keep from dozing off, though you might.

Sleep less, get sick

If you don't get a regular good night's sleep, you will weaken your body's immune system. If you are exposed to a virus, your body is less likely to fight it off. And when you do get sick, it'll take longer for you to recover.

When you're sleeping, your body's immune system releases protein's called cytokines. Some of these cytokines promote sleep, but other cytokines need to increase when you're suffering from an infection or inflammation. The Mayo Clinic reports on studies that show lack of sleep or inability to have quality sleep may decrease the production of these cytokines. Lack of sleep also reduces production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells.

Instead of just feeling lousy in the morning because you're not sleeping well, you end up feeling worse from the flu or other infections you just can't shake. According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sleep less, gain weight

The other problem you face from lack of sleep is getting fat. The Mayo reports on other studies that men who regularly are sleep deprived increase their craving for high-calorie foods and just flat out eat more. Another study showed women who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to gain 11 pounds.

Researchers suspect that sleep duration has an impact on hormones ghrelin and leptin that regulate hunger and stimulate the appetite. Less sleep also leads to fatigue and a decrease in physical activity.

Sleep too much, same problems

The flip side of this is if you get too much sleep, nine hours or more for adults, the same problems of reduced immunity and weight gain occurs. Adults who sleep seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night wake up not only refreshed but healthier. For teenagers, nine to 10 hours of sleep is optimum. Expect school-aged children to need 10 hours or more of sleep.

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