Everyone knows that you need sleep to function properly. The amount of sleep that you need varies throughout your life, depending on what stage of development you’re at. While adults usually only need around 7 hours of quality sleep on a regular basis, teens need about 8-10 hours while newborns need a whopping 14-17 hours.
Sleep truly is so crucial to every aspect of your life. While you might hear all the time that sleep is good for you, you might be wondering – what exactly are the benefits of sleeping enough?
Let’s get into them.
1. Meeting weight goals
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces a hormone called ghrelin which increases your appetite. It simultaneously decreases leptin, a hormone which tells you that you’re full. This unfortunate combo means that your body can’t properly regulate how much you’re eating.
Alongside this, a lack of sleep also means that you’re more stressed, which can lead to cravings, stress-eating, and mindless snacking – all while you aren’t able to control how much you’re eating.
With enough sleep however, your body can accurately tell you when it’s full and regulate what you’re eating, helping you with your weight goals (whatever they may be).
2. Stress reduction
Remember when your parents used to be grumpy at you for waking them up? No one is nice when they haven’t gotten enough sleep. This is because a lack of sleep tells your body that you must not be sleeping in a safe environment, so it releases cortisol, the stress hormone, to keep you wary and on edge. However, this also makes you cranky, irritable, and just generally feel like trash.
Getting enough sleep lets you feel like your best self and reduces all of the nasty side effects of stress like raised blood pressure, tired muscles, trouble sleeping (ironically), muscle tension, low libido, and more.
3. Reduction of risk for serious health problems
Your blood pressure is a lot lower when you’re asleep than when you’re awake. This gives your heart and blood vessels a rest of sorts, which helps you to avoid problems stemming from high blood pressure like heart diseases and strokes.
You can also enjoy steadier blood sugar levels, which means that you’re less likely to get type 2 diabetes.
Adequate sleep also helps your body avoid chronic inflammation, which if left unchecked can lead to obesity, heart disease, certain cancers, depression, and even Alzheimer’s.
4. Clearer thinking
Getting enough sleep has a link to improved concentration, attention span, memory, and better cognitive function. This can help you to make better decisions, be more creative, and have a higher productivity throughout your school or work day.
You also can avoid accidents caused by poor brain function and drowsiness, like when you’re driving a car or trying to dissect a frog in your high school biology class.
5. Better social life
When you’re well-rested you are yourself. You can better pick up on social cues, pay attention to conversations, and be far more pleasant than you would be if you were a grumpy, groggy mess.
This means that you are a better listener, friend, and coworker when you have enough sleep and can enjoy a healthy social life.
6. Better immune system
There’s data to suggest that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to develop a cold than those who do, but lack of sleep will impair immune function in general.
Without enough sleep, your body won’t have enough energy to fight off germs – especially while it’s pumping you full of hormones that keep you stressed and functioning abnormally. What’s more is your body also functions differently. Your white blood cells might not attack pathogenic cells as quickly, meaning you could get sick more often.
7. Better athletic performance
Athletic performance can improve when you sleep enough. This is because adequate sleep enhances reaction time, fine motor skills, muscular power and endurance, and even problem-solving skills.
Even aside from that, because you feel better when you have enough sleep you decrease your risk of injury because you’re alert and focused and have more motivation to exercise.
Overall this means that you’re more likely to actually have it in you to visit the gym, have a better, safer, longer workout, and enjoy better results and recovery after too.
Combined with the fact that adequate sleep helps you with weight goals, you’ve got one serious recipe for success.
Sleep isn’t just nice, it’s amazing for your body and mind
Regularly sleeping enough helps your body to work as it should. Your systems can only run at their optimum capacity when they’ve had that crucial time to rest and recuperate, and sleeping is when they do just that.
So find out what your sleep sweet-spot is and try and hit it every night consistently – then watch as the benefits play out in your life.