There’s so much to do and so little time…but if I go to bed late and wake up early, I’ll take advantage of the day. How many times have you stolen time from your sleeping hours? Yes, at first it’s okay, but then, perhaps a few days later, you’ll feel a strange exhaustion. You can’t concentrate, you forget things, and your skin even looks shriveled. You don’t understand why. Well, in spite of what you’ve always thought, sleeping is time well spent.
And sleeping just two or three hours to recover isn’t enough. The body needs a certain number of hours a day to rest, recover, and perform different metabolic and regenerative functions. Continue reading this article, and we are going to answer the question: How many hours should you sleep?
Why do we sleep?
Transitioning form waking hours to sleep is a natural and cyclical process, during which time hormone secretion changes, along with the metabolism and cardiovascular, respiratory, and thermoregulatory (body temperature) functions change. Sleep is divided into five stages which could vary throughout the night.
1) Drowsiness or sleepiness
This first stage lasts only a few minutes. This is the stage in which you are going to sleep, but any sort of noise, regardless of how quiet, could wake us up. The body begins to relax and may begin to create slow, intermittent eye movements.
2) Light sleep
This is one of the strangest stages of sleep, because people can talk to you and you may respond, and the following day you won’t remember what happened. The body continues to relax.
3-4) Slow or deep sleep
Stages 3 and 4 make up slow or deep sleep, whereby muscle tone is reduced, breathing rate slows, blood pressure regulates, and heart rate slows down. Gastrointestinal movements increase. During this stage of sleep, the secretion of growth hormones slightly increases (especially during puberty), as well as the secretion of gonadotropin hormones (FSH and LH). These hormones are responsible for ovulation and the creation of sperm, respectively. So it is very important that you are not awoken during these stages.
5) REM sleep
This is characterized by rapid eye movements and muscle contraction in the middle ear. This is the stage in which dreams are made. There is a lot of brain activity, irregular increases in cardiorespiratory rate, a drop in body temperature, and increase in the secretion of prolactin (which influences progesterone), penile erection and clitoris stiffness.
As you can see, each stage of sleep is fundamental for the body to rest and recover after a day of activity. The hormones released during this period noticeably influence our general state, while the culmination of the digestive process allows nutrients to be absorbed for energy.
How many hours should you sleep?
The amount of hours that you need to sleep could vary b age, but according to several studies, with the exception of newborns and small children, people should sleep 8 hours in order to reach your maximum potential the following day. There are several sleeping disorders that exist, but generally people don’t pay attention to sleeping poorly until consequences are too serious. Below, we are going to talk about a few of these consequences.
Consequences of not sleeping enough:
Not sleeping enough leads to exhaustion, it increases stress levels and promotes toxin accumulation. Your body won’t be able to respond to you the way you need it to the following day. You will feel tired, slow and very sleepy.
Lack of sleep causes metabolic disorders that attack healthy. The most worrisome of all is that it raises the probability of suffering from cardiovascular problems, hypertension and diabetes.
Memory and creativity
Not sleeping enough prevents the brain from organizing and recording information that it receives throughout the day. That’s why it causes memory alterations, lack of concentration, changes in mood, bad moods, irritability, reflex reduction, behavioral and learning problems, and depression. If you rest well, according to experts, you will produce new and innovating ideas.
Not sleeping enough could repress the immune system, making you more susceptible to attacks by bacteria and viruses.
Lack of rest is reflected in the skin, which will look withered and shriveled because the cells are not properly regenerated.
You need to sleep to rest your eyes, if not, your eyes will be red, you’lls have bags under your eyes and vision problems.
If you don’t sleep enough, you could affect cellular oxygenation.
When the body doesn’t rest enough, it tends to accumulate fats, especially in the abdominal region. A well rested body helps maintain ideal weight, and even weight loss, as it influences the appetite and nutrient absorption.
Always care for yourself
Remember that sleep well, for the recommended 8 hours, will provide numerous benefits. Not only will you rest, but you will also:
- Restore energy levels needed to face the day.
- Increase blood flow to the stomach and intestines for correct digestion.
- Reduce stress and regenerate brain cells. This will make you feel more awake the following day, and more capable of learning and memorizing.
- Facilitate the elimination of toxic substances.
- Activate your immune system and promote good antibody production. In other words, you’ll get sick less.
- Stimulate sex cell production.
- Regenerate body tissues, especially those of the skin.
- And if you want a long and healthy life, there’s nothing better than sleeping enough every day, physical exercise, and a balanced diet. According to experts, that is the secret.