5 Awesome Health Benefits of Good Night’s Sleep
I have heard from many very busy people like entrepreneurs, artists, hard workers, single parents and the very ambitious ones, that sleep isn’t that important. Many times I hear comments like that sleep is a waste of time and that they’re more productive if they get less sleep.
While in some circumstances this could be true, if you sleep less you have more time to do whatever you want or need to do. However, in the long run this could have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
Getting quality good night’s sleep provides amazing health benefits and is important part of your healthy lifestyle routine. So let’s check some of them.
1. Good Sleep Helps Regulate and Boost Your Immune System
Numerous studies and research shows that without proper sleep cycles your immune system may be dangerously affected (1).
Sleep and circadian rhythm are strong regulators of immunological processes. Our central nervous and immune system directly communicates between neurotransmitters, hormones and cytokines during the sleep.
During good night’s sleep your body works hard to do maintenance jobs and to decrease inflammatory processes, stress hormones and involved mechanisms. While increasing the number of immune cells that directly fight diseases.
It also helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. Ever noticed that when you sleep well you have less sugar and food cravings during the next day?
Because your physical health improves with good sleep habits, you are actually more productive and function more effectively throughout the day!
2. Good Night’s Sleep Helps You Lose Weight
Short sleep duration is linked to increased body mass index (BMI). Short sleep duration negatively affects a number of hormones, metabolism and sugar regulating mechanisms. All this has an impact on your body’s ability to regulate weight.
Prominent studies and research show that people who sleep less have increased appetite and may get strong carbs cravings. This happens because sleep deprivation causes negative changes in hormones that regulate appetite throughout the day (2).
One study was done on 1,040 participants and reveals an interesting fact. People who get less than 8h of sleep start developing higher BMI. Therefore an average of around 8 hours of good night’s sleep is optimal for health and keeping your weight in check.
So, if you are trying to lose weight and have problems with cravings, you should make sure that you get around 8 hours of good quality night’s sleep each day.
3. Good Sleep Helps Improve Mental Function and Productivity
Our busy lifestyle and modern way of living many times requires our brain to function at max capacity. Sleep deprivation has been linked to serious errors and bad decisions.
One interesting study shows how reducing work hours also reduced the number of errors in intensive care units (3).
Good night’s sleep increases concentration, productivity, cognitive performance and performance in general. Interestingly, it also improves problem-solving skills and enhances memory in both children and adults (4).
Getting enough sleep is also essential for effectively learning new information. During the night our brain processes information that you’ve learned and experienced throughout the day. Then it sorts everything by importance and what you focused on more, is stored in memory for later recall.
Sleep deprivation reduces both your focus during the day and the brain’s ability to store your experiences or information to medium or long term memory.
Good mental function and productivity is extremely important, no matter what you do in your life.
4. Sleep Helps Reduce Acute and Chronic Pain
One study researched the connection between chronic pain and sleep disorders in primary care patients (5). Being the two most commonly reported symptoms, the study confirms the link between them.
The mechanisms that help your body reduce either chronic or acute pain are very complex. However good night’s sleep has a strong positive impact and importance to helping your body heal and reduce the pain.
However, when the pain is strong it may be hard to fall asleep. This may lead to sleep deprivation which may worsen the pain and you can enter a dangerous cycle which may lead into developing a chronic disease (6).
Important note: Having any type of pain is a serious health risk. Always consult with medical professionals if you have pain and also tell them honestly about your sleeping habits. The doctors know how important good night’s sleep is for your health and they are there to help you.
5. Good Night’s Sleep Helps You Look Younger
Sleep is closely linked to anti aging, better looking skin and satisfaction with appearance. It is important for growth and renewal of multiple physiological systems that affect skin function and visible signs of ageing (7).
Your body produces collagen during the sleep. So, if you are not getting enough sleep you may notice more wrinkles and fine lines.
During the deep sleep cycles your body is repairing damaged cells, regulates the water balance and moisture of your skin. Not getting enough sleep disturbs these important mechanisms and may lead to dark circles under your eyes, puffy bags and dry skin.
Because sleep reduces inflammation in general, it also helps reduce skin conditions. Good night’s sleep helps reduce acne breakouts, allergic dermatitis reactions, psoriasis and reduces skin sensitivity.
Good night’s sleep will help give your skin that natural glow and beauty. Before you spend money on expensive beauty products, check if you are getting enough of good quality night’s sleep. Some products may not even be effective if you don’t get enough sleep.
These are the 5 awesome benefits of good sleep that I think are very important for everyone to know about. If you can relate to any of the above points, I highly recommend to research more on this topic.
Do everything in your power to give yourself good, deep and refreshing sleep each day. You will feel, function and look much better and every effort to get better quality sleep is very rewarding.
This article is not a medical advice. If you have doubts, worries or a health condition please consult with a physician. If you suffer from insomnia or high stress that prevents you from normal sleep, I recommend you to seek medical help immediately.
High stress may lead to insomnia – inability to fall asleep and get enough of it. Which may lead to even more stress – and this cycle is extremely dangerous for your physical and mental health. This isn’t something to take lightly!
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