The importance of a good nights sleep

14 Dec 2013

There are so many things that seem more interesting or important than getting a few more hours of sleep, but just as exercise and nutrition are essential for good health and happiness, so is sleep. The way you feel while you're awake depends greatly on what happens while you're sleeping, whether you're an Olympic athlete, a weekend warrior, or a lunch-break walker, getting enough sleep is key for a lot of reasons. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health it also helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down, meaning you feel hungrier than when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. A lack of sleep results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk of developing diabetes.

Regular exercise can help towards a good night’s sleep, but another answer may lie in your shopping trolley. It has been found that people who have a good varied diet tend to get the full recommended 8 hours sleep whereas over eaters are more likely to get less and under eaters sleep too much!

No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

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