At some point in your life, you might have been called a “sleepyhead”. While there’s nothing derogatory about this term, it might please you to know t
At some point in your life, you might have been called a “sleepyhead”. While there’s nothing derogatory about this term, it might please you to know that people with the healthiest sleep habits have the best overall health. You might have heard about the nourishing effects of sleep, but did you know your brain benefits significantly when you get high quality sleep?
According to the love experts at Simply Amour, sleep keeps your brain from frying. “A sizzling egg is quite like a sleep-deprived brain. Not getting your daily 8 hours (at least) could send it into overdrive,” he says.
So here’s a list of major benefits of good, quality sleep:
1. Boosts your immune system
When you sleep more and sleep better, you get sick less often. Make it a habit to get high quality sleep and give your immune system the strength it needs. During sleep, your immune cells and proteins are able to get into fighting shape. This prepares your immune system for protection against harmful foreign bodies such as the flu and cold viruses.
Not getting enough sleep drives down the strength of your T-cells and increases the inflammatory cytokines, making you more susceptible to sickness. Start getting the right quantity of sleep and watch your health surge.
2. Stay heart healthy
Sleep deprivation may not be the leading cause of heart conditions, but poor sleep patterns have been proven to raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke. When you’re sleep-deprived, the body releases hormones like cortisol in large quantities in order to maintain alertness. As a result, your heart is forced to beat faster because of the extra hours awake. Long-term sleep deprivation can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, angina, and arrhythmias. A good night’s sleep replenishes cortisol levels and restores your body’s muscles, tissues, and organs.
3. Prevents unhealthy weight gain
While you can’t sleep your way to a size 6, it’s helpful to know that a good night’s sleep can keep you from adding excess weight. Insomnia drives up levels of the hormone ghrelin which increases your appetite. Good sleep also reduces the quantity of another hormone called leptin which is responsible for making the body feel full. Sleep deprivation can therefore reduce your strength to resist junk food. You could be helping yourself to large slices of pizza and soda after midnight. In general, you’re less likely to eat unhealthy foods when you go to sleep earlier.
4. Reduces chances of a car crash
Research has shown that 20% of car crashes in the UK are sleep-related and that 40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles. Sleep-deprived people who regularly drive are putting their lives and those on the road in danger.
Sleep deprivation slows down your motor skills and lowers your ability to focus. In fact, driving sleep deprived has been compared to driving under the influence of alcohol. People who sleep 8 hours a day are two times less likely to get into an accident than those who sleep between 5 and 7 hours.
5. Boost brain performance
As stated earlier, sleep helps the brain rest, repair, and replenish. Today’s world is charged with a lot of activity, so getting enough sleep is the only way for many people to unwind and relax. Getting enough sleep is linked to better concentration and increased cognitive functioning, which will no doubt increase your productivity and efficiency both at work and in your personal life.
Start today to change your daily and bedtime habits if you haven’t been sleeping well. These days the number one culprit is screen time right before bed. Put down your phone and pick up a book if you want high quality sleep. Less artificial light before falling asleep will allow you to sleep longer and more comfortably throughout the night.