Top seven benefits of a good night’s sleep
If you’ve ever skimped on sleep, you know the next day’s consequences aren’t pretty. Your lack of shut-eye might have left you feeling foggy, irritable or even queasy. While there’s no denying that our bodies can do some pretty amazing things, we can’t go very far without a nightly battery recharge.
In honor of Sleep Awareness Week, we’ve rounded up the top seven benefits of getting your beauty rest. Go on, take a peek … and then take a power nap!
1. Sleep improves your health.
Taking too many sick days? Boost your immunity to fight off colds and even the flu with more sleep. Adequate rest is also linked to many other health benefits, including lower blood pressure and a decrease in inflammatory proteins that are linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Now that’s something to sleep on.
2. Sleep reduces stress.
Plain and simple, your body doesn’t like sleep deprivation. As a result, it can react in negative ways, such as producing increased stress hormones. If you’re already stressed to begin with, a lack of sleep will only add fuel to the fire. Deep, regular sleep can reduce stress – and even prevent it.
3. Sleep helps you live longer.
Research continues to link healthy sleep habits with longer lifespans. A study of women between the ages of 50 and 79 showed more deaths in women who slept less than five hours every night, while another study showed elevated C-reactive proteins (associated with heart attack risk) in those who snoozed for six hours or less per night. Serious sleep deprivation (consistently getting less than five hours of sleep a night) has even been linked to a 15 percent increase in mortality rate in some studies.
4. Sleep helps you acquire new skills.
When it comes to learning something new, practice makes perfect. But did you know that bedtime is actually the prime time for strengthening and absorbing what you learned while you were awake? Whether you’re figuring out a new task at work or brushing up on a foreign language, restful sleep means better results.
5. Sleep boosts your memory.
During sleep, your body is resting – but your brain is busy storing, organizing and processing memories. Not getting enough sleep cuts down on this important process, making you feel forgetful and foggy.
6. Sleep keeps you fit.
If you’re looking to lose weight, hitting the sheets is just as important as the gym. Studies show that well-rested dieters lost significantly more fat and felt less hungry than those who got less sleep. And it’s no surprise that getting enough sleep arms you with that much-needed energy to tackle a morning jog or spin class to keep your body active and ultimately better control your weight.
7. Sleep makes you happier.
We all strive for more joy in our lives, and getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to put you in a better mood. That’s because being overtired affects how we control our emotions – and a lack of sleep can often result in feeling cranky, agitated and overly anxious. Being well-rested equates to more emotional stability, which staves off depression and improves your overall well-being for the long run.
You may not think twice about sleep, but by making quality rest a top priority, you can change your lifestyle for the better. How many hours of sleep do you get every night? Share your healthy sleep tips with us below!