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Our body wants to sleep in order to work as it should, so alongside how long you sleep for, the quality of your sleep is important too. It is no use sleeping for eight hours a night if your sleep quality is poor, as this can be just as bad as sleeping for only two hours. If you need to improve your quality of sleep, here are six reasons why you should start now.

Poor Sleepers Are Usually More Overweight

Poor quality sleep is directly linked to gaining weight. Not sleeping can lead us to not exercise as we feel too fatigued or it can lead us to eating unhealthy foods as we crave them due to a lack of energy. One study has found that adults with poor quality sleep are 89% more likely to be overweight or obese. Sleeping poorly can affect the hormones that are responsible for our hunger levels. When you do have an increased appetite following poor sleep, it could be because the hormone that stimulates appetite is being secreted at a faster rate.

Good Sleep Improves Concentration Levels

Sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the brain. Those who have ever had a bad night’s sleep will understand how difficult it can be to concentrate on the task at hand. Sleeping improves your concentration levels and enhances your ability to retain information and problem solve. The more fatigued you are, the more your brain will feel foggy.

Good Sleep Maximizes Athletic Performance

When you are tired, you are less likely to want to perform any sports. This is because our body feels unable to due to a lack of energy. Without enough sleep, you cannot perform to the best of your athletic ability. One study found that basketball players who slept for longer had better accuracy, increased speed and reaction times, not to mention better mental wellbeing.

Poor Sleep Can Increase the Risk of Heart Disease and Strokes

Poor sleep quality has many associated risk factors, including the increased chance of a stroke or heart disease. This may be due to many reasons, including an increase in blood pressure due to lack of sleep and stress levels rising due to fatigue.

Poor Sleep Can Cause Mental Health Problems

The more you worry about sleeping, the harder it is to sleep. This can be an endless cycle and poor sleep quality can both contribute to and cause mental health problems. Poor sleep can lead you to feel detached from the world and can leave you feeling very down and anxious. Over time, this could manifest itself into depression or an anxiety disorder.

Poor Sleep Could Cause Illness

As our body requires enough sleep to work effectively, it may mean that if you have poor quality sleep and come into contact with a virus, you will catch it. This is because the immune system cannot respond quick enough as your body isn’t working at its full capacity. For those who work in healthcare and work long hours, good sleep quality is a must as healthcare professionals are constantly surrounded by illness.

What Causes Poor Sleep?

There are many reasons why people have a bad quality of sleep. It may be that a medical condition is stopping them from resting effectively or it may be that their sleeping pattern is poor. Those who snore will often have bad quality sleep compared to those who don’t. If you snore and are constantly waking up feeling exhausted, consider buying sleeping strips for snoring relief.

This is not a definitive list and there are many more reasons why it is essential to pay attention to your sleep quality. If you cannot sleep and cannot determine a cause, speak to your doctor.