As the saying goes, "Health is wealth". Many of us spend a significant amount of time and money on health supplements, gym memberships and vaccinations just to ensure that our bodies are in the pink of health.
But did you know that there is something you can do for yourself that improves your health, doesn't cost any money and doesn't even require any effort on your part? Sounds too good to be true? This 'secret' to good health is: sleep.
Unfortunately, Singaporeans are among the most sleep deprived people in the world. After learning about these five great health benefits of getting a good night's sleep, perhaps it'll inspire you not to neglect this very important part of a healthy daily routine.
#1 Reduce risk of injuries and accidents
Driving while tired can be as bad as driving under the influence of alcohol. Even if you don't doze off at the wheel, sleepiness causes slower reaction times and reduced dexterity, which is dangerous for both the driver and other road users.
Even if you're not driving, there are plenty of other risks that you put yourself in doing everyday things by not getting enough rest. You might be more likely to trip and fall while walking, accidentally cut yourself while cooking, or have reduced situational awareness of potential dangers in your surroundings.
#2 Improve your mood and reduce stress
We've probably all experienced being very cranky when we stay up for an extended period of time. It's not your fault.
Science has shown that a lack of sleep may affect the normal regulation of your emotions. When you're tired, you'll be more likely to have less patience with your co-workers or your children, and don't feel good about the world around you in general. Worse, you may even spiral into depression on the back of constant sleep deprivation.
Sleeping well improves your overall feeling of well-being, which reduces your stress levels. Lower stress is good for your immune system, so you become less susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
#3 Help you lose weight
A lack of sleep exposes you to an increased risk of weight gain. When you don't have sufficient sleep, your leptin hormone, the hormone that regulates body weight, levels drop. This makes you feel hungry more easily and in particular, crave for higher fat and higher calorie foods.
In addition, many important bodily processes only take place when we're sleeping. During these processes, our bodies make use of stored energy for repairing tissue and cellular regeneration.
Not having adequate sleep reduces the time our bodies have to perform these critical functions, and as a result, a lot of the energy that we consumed that day would simply be stored as fat.
#4 Be more productive and have greater clarity of thought
The founder of the Huffington Post, Ariana Huffington famously became more productive after getting enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation affects your brain, which means that your decision-making and thought processes are hampered. You'll take longer to process logical problems, and become more prone to careless mistakes.
Investing the time for quality sleep that is long enough can make your waking hours more productive.
Another important role that sleep plays is the creation and preservation of memories. When you sleep, your brain processes and stores memories created that day. This is why when you probably don't have very good recollection of details of days when you're sleep deprived.
#5 Look better
Dull skin, pimple outbreaks, and bloodshot eyes – these are some common signs of a chronically sleep-deprived person.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on beauty products, why not remedy these the natural way – by simply getting enough sleep?
You'll wake up feeling great, looking better, and be ready for whatever life throws your way.
For a great day tomorrow, have a good sleep tonight
The silver lining for those of us who are sleep deprived is that it is pretty easy to reverse the damage. Just a few nights of quality sleep is often enough to restore our body and mind to a healthy, well-functioning state.
So adopt good bedtime habits tonight and sleep your way towards a healthier, happier you!
Leverage on AIA vitality for an overall healthier lifestyle
AIA is your lifelong partner in helping you live healthier and better. In particular, AIA Vitality is a wellness programme that encourages and rewards you as you make real, lasting changes towards a healthy lifestyle.
By doing a health check, enjoying a healthier diet or even walking more each day, you can unlock attractive cash rewards and discounts. These rewards include additional coverage and insurance premium discount and weekly rewards for staying active.
In addition, AIA Vitality offers members up to 25% discount on fitness devices and additional AIA Vitality Points when you utilise them. These fitness devices encourage you to improve your health, track your fitness goals as well as measure the quality of your sleep.
AIA Vitality is your buddy that cheers you on towards success in your health and wellness journey.