5 Surprising Health Benefits Of A Good Night’s Sleep
I will admit that most of the time, I probably don’t get as much sleep as I should. But sleep is incredibly important for your overall health! While you’re asleep, your body is actually hard at work performing vital maintenance tasks, including hormone regulation, muscle repair, memory consolidation, and more. By depriving your body of sleep, your body has less time to perform these crucial functions, and your health can suffer for it.
5 Health Benefits Of Sleep
1. Revitalized Skin
The time that you’re asleep is an important time for your skin. Many hormonal and metabolic processes occur while you’re asleep, including ones that directly affect your skin. Collagen production occurs during sleep, so if you’re not getting enough sleep, you may notice an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. Something I am definitely not in favor of!
2. Weight Control
This next fact was surprising AND upsetting to me, but did you know sleep actually has a huge impact on your ability to maintain or lose body weight? Researchers have shown that even when diet and exercise are the same, sleep deprived people experience as much as 50% less fat-loss than people who are well-rested. Your metabolism just can’t function properly if you’re not getting enough sleep!
3. Lower Stress
There’s a phenomenon called the “sleep-stress cycle” that helps illustrate how crucial it is to get enough sleep. The cycle begins when a person experiencing stress is having trouble falling or staying asleep. After experiencing poor sleep, this person is likely to experience even more stress. The stress leads to poor sleep (again), and the cycle perpetuates itself.
4. Better Mood
The amount and quality of the sleep you get can have a dramatic effect on your mood. (I have personally experienced this phenomenon. Lack of sleep = grouchy Jillee.) A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that participants who were limited to 4.5 hours of sleep each night reported feeling angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the participants went back to a full night’s sleep, they all reported dramatically improved moods.
5. Better Memory
There are 3 facets to memory – acquisition (learning something new), consolidation (committing it to memory), and recall (accessing that information). Acquisition and recall both occur when you’re awake, but important parts of consolidation happen while you’re asleep.
During the 8 or so hours while you’re asleep, your brain processes the new information you picked up throughout the day. Think of your sleeping brain like a filing cabinet, where new information is being examined, sorted, and filed away in the right places. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain can’t consolidate information as effectively, and your ability to remember things will suffer.
If writing this post has taught me anything, it’s that sleep is not the luxury we often make it out to be. Good sleep is a necessity, and it is crucial to our overall health. A couple of months ago, I decided to invest in my sleep and health by switching to a Sleep Number mattress, and I’m so glad I did! Thanks to my Sleep Number mattress, I’ve been spending less time trying to fall asleep and more time actually sleeping. Making a commitment to my health has never felt so easy (or more comfortable!) 🙂
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