To Sleep Or Not To Sleep Early

Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy

As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!

#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts

The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.

#3: Sleep Improves Immunity

Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.

Conclusion

After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.

Should You Use Earphones?

Yes, you might think that this article is totally no-brainer. I can imagine many of you cringing at this title. But you’ll be surprised. If misused, these simple contraptions you chuck in your ear every single day can pose a threat to your health! Yes, I’m not kidding at all. As the use of headphones and earphones continue to rise and become more popular, especially among the teens, hearing loss and other ear-related health problems have become more prevalent. Furthermore, I feel that not much has been done by health authorities to educate the public. Thus, this article will show you exactly why and how improper usage of earphones or headphones can damage your health. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: It Can Cause Deafness

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This sounds obvious. However, this problem has become more common among teenagers and adults alike. Listening to music at unsafe volume levels can cause permanent hearing loss. “But how? Earphones are so small!” Despite their small size, these little, innocuous-looking objects can generate high volumes of sounds. To put things in perspective, motorcycles generate about 100 decibels of sound. On the other hand, an MP3 player at 70% of its top volume can give out 85 decibels of sound. “But what does this mean for my ear?” Let’s see this from a scientific perspective. The cochlea, which is a part of the ear, contain tiny, minute hair cells, which function to relay acoustic information to the brain. These hair cells can be damaged by loud noise and once they are so, they can never regenerate. This leads to gradual hearing loss and many people don’t notice it until it’s simply too late.

#2: It Is Linked With A Growing Number Of Road Accidents

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Earphones can pose as a form of distraction, especially while driving or simply crossing the street. The use of earphones removes our auditory awareness of our surroundings and we will be unable to sense danger around us. For instance, you might not be able to hear a car honking at you, or a truck skidding towards you. Furthermore, many become engrossed with the music they are listening with, thereby causing them to lose focus of their surroundings and worsening reaction time in critical situations. Our mind simply does not have the ability to multitask. What’s even more shocking is that 1 in 4 of Americans aged between 18 to 34 admitted to finding themselves in at least one hazardous situation while wearing headphones in the year 2018.

#3: Increased Risks Of Infection

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When used for prolonged periods of time, both sweat and moisture accumulate around the headphones. This provides a suitable environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi alike. On a similar note, people living in coastal cities where humidity is high, have a higher risk of suffering from ear infections. When earphones are used, air flow into the ears are blocked, thereby also facilitating the multiplication of microbes. Furthermore, sharing your earphones with your loved ones and friends may increase the chances of them getting infected too.

Conclusion

This article is a short one. Nonetheless, I hope that it did help you to understand the potential side effects of headphone misuse and overuse. If you did find this post helpful to you in any way, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so already. Thanks for reading!