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What 7 hours of sleep can do to your body

By Chaitanya Ramalingegowda
September 23, 2019 09:20 IST

It is important to give the body the rest it deserves, which will ultimately help to enhance memory, improve focus and develop the capacity for learning new information, says Chaitanya Ramalingegowda.

What sleep can do to your body

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A healthy lifestyle is built on three pillars -- food, exercise and sleep.

This holy trinity of well being ensures that we live a happy, healthy and successful life.

While there is an avalanche of options for healthy diets and exercise regimens, most of us tend to struggle when it comes to sound sleep at night.

Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults each night, however, for many of us, sleep is an elusive luxury.

To understand the importance of sleep for your health and well being, imagine your body to be a factory that performs several vital functions all day.

The night shift of the body clock is a time for rest and restoration as your body works to heal and repair itself

Here are five healthy reasons you must sleep on time:

1. Improves memory, focus and concentration

If you find yourself with a foggy brain struggling to remember what you ate for dinner last night or where you kept your phone, you can blame it on the lack of sleep.

According to a study, the human brain uses sleep to eliminate the waste toxins built up during the day.

Hence, it is important to give the body the rest it deserves, which will ultimately help to enhance memory, improve focus and develop the capacity for learning new information.

2. Re-energises muscles and reduces body aches

Tired muscles? Achy joints? One of the best ways to recover from aches and fatigue is resting and sleeping.

3. Avoids weight gain

We have all experienced midnight hunger pangs when we stay up late. There is a science behind that uncontrollable urge to reach out and munch on something at night.

Our body has two important hormones that impact hunger and food intake; ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin is the hunger hormone in our body which builds appetite and helps in fat storage, whereas leptin is a hormone that regulates appetite and controls fat storage.

Medical experts have observed that when a person is sleep deprived, leptin reduces and ghertin increases in the body, hence causing people to feel more hungry.

A constant state of sleep deprivation can trigger a pattern of overeating and can eventually increase the chances of obesity.

4. Regulates stress and lifestyle related diseases

The 'Right to work Naps' survey by found that work-related anxiety hampered 31% people’s sleep at night.

These sleepless nights occur due to a hormone called ‘cortisol’, also known as the stress hormone. This hormone regulates metabolism and the sleep-wake cycle in the body.

Studies have indicated a temporary disruption in the level of cortisol when the sleep cycle is shifted.

While there is no conclusive proof to the interrelation between cortisol levels and sleep disorders, experts believe a high state of stress and irregular sleep could play a causative role in sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia.

Regulating work pressure and maintaining a strict sleep schedule is of utmost importance, given the rising cases of lifestyle disorders.

5. Strengthens immunity

'Don't get out of bed for a few days and you should be fine' is a common advice given by doctors in addition to the prescription of medicines when you catch the flu or other common ailments.

This is because the body releases a protein called cytokine when you are asleep, which helps in boosting immunity.

In fact, the level of cytokine increases when a person is sick or is under stress. A good night’s rest boosts the effectiveness of specialized immune cells and improve the body's fighting response to viruses.

For getting the best benefits of your sleeping hours, it is equally important to invest in an orthopaedic mattress or memory foam mattress that is comfortable with better support, breathability and ability to soothe pressure relief.

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda is director and co-founder,, a Bangalore-based start-up and sleep solution provider.

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Chaitanya Ramalingegowda