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The importance of recovering sleep

The importance of recovering sleep

Sleep well. It is the best remedy to recover energies and maintain your body healthy. However, and for the most various reasons, many of us tend to incorrectly think that sleeping is not essential. For the sake of our health, this idea must be corrected. A study published by the Journal of Neuroscience shows that, even for adults, sleeping between seven and eight hours per night improves levels of concentration, planning, memory and hormonal balance. On the other side, the same research refers that neglecting our body to sleep causes cognitive deficit and emotional instability. This study tells us more: tests carried out during the research through tester animals that suffered sleep deprivation revealed that their brain cells started to collapse precisely due to lack of sleep. As a result, the body did not produce enough antioxidants to regenerate, giving the chance that free radicals start to appear, as well as neurons start do die. In this article, learn about the symptoms that result from a series of sleepless nights and which health consequences you might face if you do not have good sleep habits. Remember this idea: sleep well, for your own health.

What is the importance of sleep? 

Sleeping is crucial for balancing your organism. According to the Portuguese Association of Sleep’s website, sleep is essential, for example, for the “concentration, memorization and learning ability processes”. But the benefits of sleep transcend the functions of our brain. The positive influence of sleep is linked to the production of hormones, the immunity system, appetite, breathing functions, blood pressure and cardiovascular system. For all this, it is fundamental to sleep well and follow some healthy habits.

Diseases that disturb sleep
Besides poor lifestyle habits that directly disturb sleep, there are some diseases that can also contribute to a night’s bad sleep. According to data of the Portuguese National Health Service, nearly 45% of the world population suffers from sleep deprivation. Insomnia is the most common disturbance and according to some estimates, 20% of the Portuguese society suffers from it. Another common deprivation is sleep apnea. The good news is that those issues can be treated, and as soon as you feel them, you should contact your physician. For it to be easier to identify the common symptoms, we leave you with a short description of each:


It is, in general terms, the lack of sleep, a disorder that tends to get worst with age. It can be identified through three ways: difficulties in falling asleep, maintaining you sleep or even shortening sleep duration.

Sleep apnea

Usually associated with snoring, sleep apnea, is a silence (followed by resounding sounds) in which you stop breathing for only a few seconds. Episodes are frequent and they are responsible for forced wakening and this means that the body is not resting properly.

7 consequences of sleep deprivation

There are several and serious issues that are closely related to sleeping disorders and can affect your organism in the worst possible way. Find out which are the seven most frequent:

  1. Higher risk of getting ill

Sleep is the organism’s restorative activity and is directly related to the responsiveness of the immunity system. When you don’t sleep well, the organism defenses run low and your body cannot defend itself, making it more vulnerable to some diseases, such as colds, flues or other infections.

  1. Heart diseases

Not sleeping well can have a negative impact on cardiovascular health, increasing the chances of developing coronary diseases or having a stroke.

  1. Cognitive alterations

Just one sleepless night is enough to cause problems to your memory, decision making and problem solving. These conclusions have been proved by scientific studies concerning sleep deprivations.

  1. Risk of a decreased libido

Sleeping five hours or less for several days can reduce your testosterone level and about 10 to 15% of sex hormones.

  1. Weight Gain

Some studies link sleepless nights to obesity. This conclusion results from a research that ,for three years, followed a group of adults who slept less than five hours per day.

  1. Increases the risk of diabetes

Studies show that a connection between sleepless nights and an increase of fatty acid production in the blood. This increases the risk of developing diabetes.

  1. Increased probability for accidents

Sleeping less than six hours per day increases by three times the odds  of having a car accident.

Strategies to sleep better

Poor sleeping habits are the main reason for a general decrease in your health l. To avoid this, the World Sleep Society has shared some recommendations for a healthy and restorative sleep:

Establish a sleep schedule and a regular wake up time. Follow those rules every day, including weekends;

If you tend to have naps, make sure they don’t exceed 45 minutes;

Avoid excessive alcohol-drinking four hours before going to sleep and do not smoke;

Avoid drinking caffeine six hours before going to sleep. This includes tea, energetic drinks and even chocolate;

Avoid eating heavy, spicy meals or desserts, four hours before going to sleep; if you really need to eat something at this time of day, choose something light;

Avoid practicing exercise four hours before going to sleep;

Use comfortable bed sheets;

Maintain good sleeping conditions in your bedroom: appropriate temperature, low lighting, without noises and well ventilated.

Use the bedroom only for sleeping, avoid using it for work or any other leisure activity.

You can Read the original article and visit Médis' page here: Médis.

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