Sleeping. It’s something we all do, every day, and so we tend not to give it much thought. We all know that we don’t feel so great if we don’t get enough sleep, but did you know that a lack of sleep can cause some really serious health conditions? Getting plenty of sleep is possibly one of the best things you can do for your health. When you’re on a health kick, you’ll be eating better, you’ll be exercising, but it’s so important to add a good night’s sleep into the mix if you want your mind and body to be on top form.
The Benefits of Sleeping Well
A lowered risk of some major health problems
Studies show that if you sleep more than six hours per night, you have lower levels of inflammatory proteins in your blood stream than those who sleep for less than six hours. These inflammatory proteins have been linked to some life threatening conditions. Get plenty of sleep and you could be reducing your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. You are also less likely to suffer from arthritis and diabetes.
You’ll lower your risks of some cancers too
A regular sleep pattern has also been found to be linked to your chances of developing some types of cancers. One study found that people who work irregular shifts, and so don’t go to sleep at the same time each night were more likely to develop breast and colon cancers than people who work regular hours.
Your brain will function better
We all know that feeling of not being quite ‘with it’ when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Work seems harder, in fact, everything seems harder. Sleep helps your brain chemicals to increase, adding back in what has depleted during the day. As a result, when you sleep well, you’ll be able to function better, your reaction times will improve, and interestingly, studies show that memory also improves when you sleep well. So, if you’re studying for exams, don’t stay up late revising, get plenty of sleep instead!
Your immune system will get a boost
When you start to sleep well, you’ll also be less likely to get a cold. If you’re one of those people who always seems to pick up every bug going, it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep.
Keep your body trim and gorgeous
if you don’t get enough sleep, you can expect to look tired, but did you know that sleep can also help you to stay slim and even look better? Sleep and metabolism are closely linked. When you don’t get enough sleep, extra hormones that tell your brain you are hungry are released. Not only that, but less of the hormone that tells you to stop eating when you are full are released. This is a bad combination and so it’s no surprise that a lack of sleep has been linked to obesity. It has also been shown that getting some decent sleep can have a positive effect on the condition of your skin, giving you a smooth complexion and slowing the ageing process.
Improve your mood
Ever felt grumpy or irritated when you haven’t slept well? Sleep plays a huge part in lowering our stress levels and improving our ability to deal with stressful situations. Many people who suffer from depression are also bad sleepers. Get a good night’s sleep and you’ll certainly feel better and will be at a reduced risk of suffering from depression, stress and anxiety.
Sleep keeps you safe
You are far more likely to have an accident if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. Some studies have shown that sleep deprivation impairs driving ability even more than alcohol. That’s pretty scary stuff! If your job involves operating heavy machinery, you could be putting your life at risk. A lack of sleep also lowers your attention levels, so you’re more likely to have an accident such as slipping in the shower, or stepping out in front of a vehicle on the roads.
Your sex life will improve
Sleeping boosts the levels of sex hormones in the blood, which in turn improves your sex drive. Additionally, lack of sleep can affect fertility, so if you’re trying to conceive, it’s really important that both of you get plenty of sleep. Once baby comes along this might not be so easy!
Athletic performance is enhanced
Research has proven that athletes perform better when they have slept well. Sleep also helps muscle mass to build up faster as muscle growth hormones are released during sleep.
Sleeping well will save you money
Not only is sleep good for your health, but it’s also good for your pocket! You’re less likely to splash out on expensive food and drink treats if you’ve slept well. You’re also statistically likely to spend less money on doctors bills and medication than someone who doesn’t sleep well. Also, it has been shown that people who do not sleep well make riskier financial decisions than people who get plenty of good quality sleep.
You’ll be a better public speaker
If you’re due to give a talk or speech the next day, get a really great night’s sleep the night before. Lack of sleep tends to make your speech slurred and more monotone. You may find you repeat yourself too. For the perfect oral presentation, sleep is vital.
Banish those headaches
If you’re prone to headaches and migraines, it could be due to a lack of sleep. Don’t rush straight to the doctors for medication, instead, try going to bed early for a few nights, it could be the perfect solution to this nasty condition.