34 Benefits Of Sleep That Will Change The Way You Think About It
We spend around one third of our lives sleeping. We rely on it everyday to refresh and rejuvenate our tired body and mind. It's human nature and for the most part we take it for granted. How much do you actually know about sleep? Probably not a lot. Did you know that there are actually 34 benefits of sleep? It goes way beyond the basics of feeling more awake the next day.
You might be wondering:
Are there really 34 sleep benefits?
Absolutely! Keep reading to find out. (Numbers 9 and 16 really surprised us!)
You may also be interested in this post about how much sleep we really need.
1. You'll be able to remember more.
Sleep plays a crucial role in our memory formation. Studies have shown that while we sleep our brains are processing and consolidating the memories from the day. This means that in order to effectively learn new material, you need to not only study but also have proper and restful sleep.
By utilizing the benefits of aromatherapy while you sleep, you can even give this an extra boost!
2. You'll be more likely to focus like a Jedi.
Ever tried doing something important after a bad night's sleep? Wasn't easy was it. Our ability to focus and concentrate is seriously reduced when we lack sufficient sleep. Unless you want to wander around all day like a zombie, make sure you get the sleep you need.
3. You'll be less likely to misinterpret situations.
According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, not getting enough sleep may affect the way we interpret situations, "We lose our ability to make sound decisions because we can no longer accurately assess the situation, plan accordingly, and choose the correct behavior". Do you tend to misinterpret social events? Are you miss reading a situation? Sleep may just be the key!
4. More sleep = more happiness.
We all know the feeling of waking up feeling crabby because we didn't get enough sleep. You get a slow start to the day and inevitably it continues in a slow way. On the other hand, there is no greater feeling first thing in the morning than waking up refreshed and feeling rejuvenated and ready to smash the day. There is no doubt that getting the right amount of sleep plays a huge role in our mood throughout the day and general happiness.
5. Your body will heal faster.
Sleep also plays a massive role on our physical well being. While we sleep we spend a portion of the time in what is referred to as deep sleep. This phase of sleep causes the release of a hormone which promotes the repairing of damaged cells and tissues, according to the National Institutes of Health.
6. You'll have stronger immunity.
Do you want to stay healthy, fight off colds, and avoid injury? Regularly getting enough high quality sleep will keep your immune system fighting and ready to go. Not getting enough sleep won't only make you feel run down, you will be run down. Your immune system will weaken and your chances of getting sick or injured go up.
7. You might just live longer.
It is unclear whether it is the cause or effect, but getting too much or too little sleep has been connected to reduced life expectancy (Health.com). A study of women aged between 50 and 79 in 2010 found that those who slept less than five hours or more than six and a half hours had a higher death rate.
8. Reduce your inflammation.
Studies have shown that those who sleep less than six hours a night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins than people who sleep more (Health.com). Inflammation has been connected to heart problems, diabetes, stroke and early aging.
9. You'll achieve a creativity boost.
Getting enough sleep may play a role in your creativity. The process of consolidating memory during sleep not only helps us learn, it might also allow your creative side to shine (National Institutes of Health). So next time you sit down to create the next master piece, makes sure you get enough shut eye before hand.
10. You'll win more.
Getting sufficient sleep plays a big role in athletic performance. Not only will you feel more refreshed and energetic after a good sleep, your focus and decision making ability improves. Just take a look at Le Bron James. He reportedly gets 12 hours of sleep a day! (Sky Rocket Your Productivity)
11. Your weight will thank you.
Getting more sleep won't directly result in weight loss, however will contribute in suppressing appetite. According to Michael Breus, Ph.D., not getting enough sleep increases the production of the hormone ghrelin which increases appetite. At the same time, it decreases the hormone leptin which tells your brain that you are full. These together mean that you are more likely to over eat when you are sleep deprived (Huffington Post).
12. You'll be less stressed.
Not getting enough sleep results in more stress. More stress means higher blood pressure. High blood pressure is bad for your health, so get more sleep and relax!
13. You'll be a safer driver.
One of the most dangerous consequences of insufficient sleep is an increased likelihood of having a car accident. With less sleep your reaction time and focus is reduced, making driving a vehicle not only a danger to yourself but to others too. According to Dr. Rapoport "sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous" (Health.com).
14. You are less likely to be depressed.
Sleep deficiency can increase your chances of having depression. You are less emotionally stable and more likely to experience anxiety after a bad sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health "sleep deficiency has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior."
15. Have more and better sex.
A National Sleep Foundation poll in 2008 found that 20% of people had less sex or were less interested in sex because they were too tired. Getting more rest will give you more energy and a better mood. Use this to your advantage and have a better sex life.
16. You'll feel less pain.
Getting more sleep can actually reduce your sensitivity to pain. This leads to an unfortunate cycle for chronic pain sufferers. Pain keeps them awake at night which results in less sleep and a higher pain sensitivity. On top of this, "not getting enough sleep can interfere with the pain relief processes of certain drugs," (Business Insider)
17. You'll be less injury prone.
With less sleep comes less attention and focus. While this can lead to an increased likelihood of car accident, it also increases your chances of injuring yourself doing day to day tasks. According to Jodi A Mindell, PhD., author of Sleep Deprived No More, "when you're overtired, you're more likely to trip, or fall off a ladder, or cut yourself while chopping vegetables. Household accidents like that can have serious consequences" (Webmd.com)
18. You'll build more muscle.
If you have ever read a fitness magazine you may have noticed they usually give some attention to the importance of sleep. The reason is simple: without sleep you can not grow your muscles. During non-REM sleep our bodies heal our damaged tissues, which is essential for muscle growth.
19. You'll have more fitness.
Regularly exercising is difficult when you are sleep deprived. You are much more likely to sit back on the couch and watch Netflix than go for a run. Without proper sleep you are unlikely to achieve a higher level of fitness. Sleep also rejuvenates our muscles meaning less down time between workouts, another contributor to more fitness.
20. You'll lower your risk of diabetes.
With less sleep comes a lessened ability to control blood sugar levels. In fact according to Business Insider "compared to adults who sleep seven to eight hours a night, people who sleep six hours are 1.7 times as likely to develop diabetes, and people who sleep five hours are 2.5 times as likely to develop diabetes."
21. You'll have better skin.
A study by the British Association of Dermatologists in 2014 found that regular poor sleep had a direct relationship with skin health and signs of aging. With less sleep you are more likely to have poor skin and develop signs of aging.
22. You'll spend less on visits to the doctor.
There is undisputed evidence that sleep deprivation is bad for your health. With links to high blood pressure, depression, heart conditions, diabetes and other conditions, being sleep deprived is likely to result in more visits to the doctor. Save your money and start getting more sleep.
23. You'll be less likely to abuse alcohol.
Not getting enough sleep may cause an increased likelihood of alcohol abuse. According to the Institute of Medicine, there is an association between chronic sleep loss and alcohol use.
24. You'll speak more clearly.
Find it hard to express yourself when you are tired? Do you slur your words or get no where with what you are trying to say? Lack of sleep makes it very difficult to get the basics right, like speaking. If you have an important meeting or phone call to make, you will benefit from a good night's sleep before hand.
25. You'll have less headaches.
Sleep deprivation can not only indirectly cause headaches through stress, it has been shown to directly relate to the occurrence of headaches and migraines. So if you suffer from these you may want to look at your sleeping patterns.
26. You'll see better.
Everything gets more difficult when you are sleepy. A study has shown that even our vision becomes disturbed when sleep deprived, with obvious potential consequences. In extreme sleep deprivation cases hallucinations have even been known to occur.
27. People who sleep more regularly are less likely to get certain cancers.
People with irregular sleep patterns like late shift workers have been shown to have a higher likelihood of developing breast and colon cancer. This is believed to be due to melatonin levels, a hormone which is associated with tumor growth. Being exposed to light suppresses the production of melatonin, and this is thought to increase the risk of cancer for shift workers.
28. You'll have faster reflexes.
A lack of sleep makes focusing and processing information for difficult. By lowering the ability to make decisions, it is theorized that sleep deprivation results in slower reactions. So if you need fast reflexes, better catch a good amount of shut eye.
29. Your heart will be healthier.
When we are sleep deprived our hearts need to work harder and receive less rest. Not sleeping enough not only raises blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular issues, studies have shown that it can be directly associated with heart attacks.
30. You'll be better at solving problems.
If you have a complex puzzle to solve getting sufficient sleep will go a long way to helping you. According to Dr.Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, "loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving and attention to detail".
31. You'll spend less on coffee and energy drinks.
If you regularly receive less than the ideal amount of sleep, you will likely resort to coffee and energy drinks for a kick of energy. While this might help you feel awake in the short run, it inevitably comes with an energy crash. Relying on caffeine supplements will also really dig into your savings in the long run.
32. You'll grow.
Sleep is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for growth. While we are in the deep phase of sleep, our body releases a growth hormone which promotes normal growth. The same hormone supports the growth of muscle and helps to repair damaged body tissue.
33. You'll look more attractive.
There is a reason we call it beauty sleep. While we sleep our bodys' cells repair themselves allowing us to look fresh and revitalized. With inadequate sleep our skin does not have the opportunity to rejuvenate itself. This results in dull looking skin and bags under eyes. According to Body and Soul this was put to the test in a 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal. A group of 23 people were photographed after being sleep deprived and after a normal 8 hour sleep. These photos were then shown to people who rated the photos on attractiveness. The sleep deprived photos were scored lower.
34. You'll have better relationships.
Considering that sleep deprivation results in an emotional, moody state of mind this is a no brainer. By sleeping properly you will be generally happier and much more likely to have better relationships as a result.