A good night’s sleep is vital to our physical health and emotional wellbeing. That’s why the benefits of good sleep should never be underestimated and getting a proper rest on a regular basis isn’t just a good idea, it’s an essential one. To prove it, we’ve put together the top 10 reasons why a better sleep means a better you.
1. Sleep helps reduce stress
If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can react by producing an elevated level of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s fast-paced lifestyles. Deep and regular sleep can help prevent this.
2. Sleep can improve your memory
Ever noticed that when you’re really tired it’s harder to remember things? Basically, this is your brain telling you that it’s not getting enough sleep. When you sleep well, your body may be resting but your brain is busy organising and storing memories. So getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
3. Sleep can lower your blood pressure
Higher blood pressure increases your chances of heart attacks and strokes, but getting plenty of restful sleep encourages a constant state of relaxation that can help reduce blood pressure and generally keep it under control.
4. Sleep helps your body to fight back
While you’re sleeping your body is producing extra protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight infections. If you’re feeling a bit run down and don’t want it to turn into a full-blown cold, go to bed early and get lots of rest.
5. Sleep can help you maintain your weight
Unfortunately, sleep won’t directly make you lose weight, but it can help you keep it under control by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite and reducing your cravings for high calorie foods.
6. Sleep puts you in a better mood
Lack of sleep can make us more agitated, so we’re more likely to snap at our boss or be grumpy with a loved one – neither of which is a good thing. The better you sleep, the better your ability to stay calm, controlled and reasonable.
7. Sleep could reduce your chances of diabetes
Some research studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose. It’s not conclusive by any means, but it’s yet another indication of how important the benefits of sleep can be.
8. Sleep helps keep your heart healthy
A regular sleep pattern can help to lower the levels of stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system, which in turn can reduce your chances of a heart condition.
9. Sleep can be a painkiller
If you’re suffering pain from a recent injury like a sprained ankle, getting plenty of sleep can actually make it hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and a lower pain threshold. Basically the more sleep you get, the less pain you might be in.
10. Sleep can make you smarter
Along with a great night’s sleep, grabbing a quick nap in the daytime can contribute towards making your brain more effective and productive. You won’t necessarily be answering all the questions on University Challenge, but you may well feel sharper, more attentive, and focused throughout the day.
If you’ve ever thought that sleep doesn’t matter all that much, think again, because it actually matters a great deal. What are your tips for a great night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments!