Live Long by Sleeping Well by Reward Me

Sleep Well to Live Longer

Beauty rest is not a myth, and it’s not just skin deep. A good night’s sleep can add years to your life.


Some people feel great on six hours of sleep, while others require more than eight. But across various sleep studies, most researchers agree: sleep-deprivation can prove detrimental to your health.

A study at the University of California, San Diego, states that contrary to the classic eight hours of sleep, the optimal amount of sleep is actually seven hours each night—but not less than six-and-a-half hours. The magical seven hours, considered “core sleep” by researchers, is sufficient to maintain optimal health. The sleep study, involving one million participants, concludes that sleeping more than seven hours may actually decrease longevity.

In addition, a recent report from Surrey University, in the UK, indicates that a lack of sleep can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. If sleep is inadequate for several nights (fewer than six hours per night), the Guardian reported, quoting the research, 700 genes linked to fighting disease are affected. The changes that occur in the body are significant for long-term health, disrupting the body’s immune system and metabolism. Consistently getting fewer than five hours of sleep every night increases the risk of death by 15 percent, the study reports.

The body goes into repair mode when sleeping, so sleepdeprivation suppresses gene activity that governs the body’s inflammatory response, which is linked to ageing. Missing “beauty sleep” causes the face to look as tired as the body. What’s worse is that the lack of sleep may cause more sleeplessness.

Since restoration of the body occurs during sleep, including new skin-cell growth and hormonal rebalancing, chronic sleep problems can lead to serious health concerns. Saggy facial skin and dark circles under the eyes are motivation enough for most women to try sleeping enough, though it’s more easily said than done.

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Different people have a wide range of circadian rhythms (biological clocks). But Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University's Sleep Research Centre believes these findings don’t take into account the quality of sleep, noting that some sixhour sleepers seem “happy with their sleep.”

Researchers may debate whether seven or eight hours is optimal, but regardless of the exact amount of time spent sleeping, it's the quality of rest that can increase your longevity. Consider the varied expert opinions, but don’t lose any sleep over it.

Some ways to improve a good night’s sleep, according to Psychology Today magazine:

  • Keep a regular schedule
  • Limit naps to no longer than 45 minutes during the day
  • Stay off caffeine by midday and alcohol close to bedtime
  • Exercise 20 to 30 minutes each day (finish at least three hours before bedtime)
  • Focus on positive thoughts
  • Create a pleasant bedroom atmosphere
  • Turn off computers and video games a couple of hours before bedtime
  • Prepare for sleep by dimming lights and taking a relaxing bath
  • Eat a sleep-inducing snack of foods that contain tryptophan
  • Wear an eye mask to darken the room
  • Get a dose of sunlight during the day

Learn how to treat insomnia at home.

Read healthy living tips  here. 

Read more tips to get a healthy life here.

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