Don't neglect the benefits of a good night's sleep

October 12, 2015

Given how hectic life can be, getting 8 or 9 hours of sleep each night can seem like an impossible luxury. But more and more research is showing that if you care about your health, you can't afford to be under-rested. We'll go over all of the benefits of a good night's sleep.

Don't neglect the benefits of a good night's sleep

Appreciate all the benefits of sleep

  • Sleep does far more than give you the energy you need to get through the day and help you cope with stress.
  • For one thing, sleep helps you keep your weight in check. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation leads to increased levels of the hormone grehlin, which triggers hunger, and decreased levels of leptin, which signals fullness. The result: you eat more when you're under-rested.
  • Lack of sleep also affects the immune system. Rats die when deprived of sleep, most likely because of an immune system breakdown that allows an influx of deadly bacteria.
  • Sleep deprivation may also increase levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body, and inflammation is now known to contribute to a host of serious diseases, from diabetes to heart disease and cancer.
  • Failing to log enough pillow time can contribute to depression, make high blood pressure worse, and even raise your blood sugar.
  • A Harvard Medical School study found that women who slept five or fewer hours per day were nearly a third more likely to develop diabetes than women who got a more reasonable amount of sleep.
  • Finally, during sleep, the body appears to repair damaged brain cells and "reorganize" the brain, possibly affecting learning and memory.

Not only is it incredibly tempting to hit "snooze" on your alarm clock, it's healthy too! Though it's probably not a good idea to be late for work, research shows that going to bed earlier and getting more sleep has a plethora of serious health benefits. So go on: count some sheep.

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