Sleep Benefits: we all love it, especially when we wake up after a great night’s sleep. In the past, sleep was often largely ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths. But now we are beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. In fact, when people get less than 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night, they are at a greater risk of developing diseases. There are numerous scientifically proven reasons that you need to get a good night’s sleep, and ignoring this need can lead to serious consequences.
10 Sleep Benefits and Why It Is Important Part of Your Life
1. Sleep keeps your heart healthy.
We know that sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many risk factors. These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease. Everyone has problems falling asleep from time to time, but if you are chronically suffering from a lack of sleep, your odds of developing heart disease or type 2 diabetes will significantly increase. With this in mind, individuals who have insomnia, sleep apnea or another complication that makes it difficult to have a restful night should consider talking to their doctor about getting a sleep aid.
In a study of healthy young men, restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row caused symptoms of pre-diabetes. This was then resolved after 1 week of increased sleep duration. Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population. Those sleeping less than 6 hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at increased risk for type 2 diabetes
2. Sleep may prevent cancer.
Did you know that people who work the late shift have a higher risk for developing breast and colon cancer? Researchers believe this link is caused by varying levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces melatonin levels, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is thought to protect against cancer, as it appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark and you avoid using electronics before bed in order to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
3. Sleep improves your memory.
That ‘foggy’ feeling that you struggle with when deprived of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate. This often leads to memory problems with facts, faces, lessons, or even conversations. Sleeping well eliminates these difficulties because, as you sleep, your brain is busy organizing and correlating memories.
One of the great benefits of sleep is that it allows your brain to better process new experiences and knowledge, increasing your understanding and retention. So, next time you hear someone say “why don’t you sleep on it,” take their advice.
4. Sleep helps control body weight issues.
This is one of the important sleep benefits for health. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don’t forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is a huge part of the equation.
5. Naps Boost Productivity
Nighttime isn’t the only time to catch z’s. Napping during the day is an effective, refreshing alternative to caffeine that is good for your overall health and can make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease. People who nap at work show much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function, and mood.
6. Sleep helps to repair your body.
Your body produces extra protein molecules while you’re sleeping that helps strengthen your ability to fight infection and stay healthy.
These molecules help your immune system mend your body at a cellular level when you are stressed or have been exposed to compromising elements such as pollutants and infectious bacteria.
7. Sleep may reduce your risk for depression.
Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with serotonin deficiencies are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep: between 7 and 9 hours each night.
8. Sleep Provides A Mood Boost
Perhaps one of sleep’s most essential functions is to help people maintain a stable mood. Those who have chronic insomnia often suffer from higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Even just one night without the proper amount of sleep can have a negative impact on your mood and ability to deal with stressful situations. This highlights yet again why sleeping is a better usage of your time than late-night cramming before a test or any other big event.
9. Sleep reduces inflammation.
The increase in stress hormones increases the level of inflammation in your body. It creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age.
10. Sleep makes you more alert.
Of course a good night’s sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great but increases your chances for another good night’s sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things and be engaged with your world. You’ll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.