We wouldn’t be in the sleep business if we didn’t believe that quality sleep was important.
The CDC describes sleep problems as a “public health epidemic“, with an estimated 50-70 million people having some kind of sleep difficulties.
Having the right mattress, foundation and bedding is a good starting point. But diet, exercise, screen time, environment and other factors can contribute to a lack of sleep.
And besides feeling well-rested when you get an adequate amount of sleep, there are numerous other very important benefits of sleep for both the mind and body. Some of the reasons for sleep are obvious – but others may surprise you.
You’ll be able to remember things more and be able to more fully utilize your skills when you get the right amount of rest. When learning something new – whether physical or mental – practice helps you learn up to a point.
During sleep, you actually continue to “practice” those skills you repeated over and over while awake.
This strengthens your memory for that skill and helps you learn it better. For students cramming for tests, getting some shut eye and being well-rested will help with memorizing material for test day.
The fitness gurus have it right; if you don’t sleep well, you won’t build muscle.
Having an adequate amount of sleep helps your body build muscle through healing the damaged tissue and cells that were burnt out during your workout session.
Growth hormones are awakened when you are asleep, and the less sleep you get, the more likely you will have muscle atrophy. So get your protein, exercise…and sleep to build those muscle groups.
Want to live longer? Get an adequate amount of sleep.
Studies have linked both too little and too much sleep to a shorter lifespan. While the relationship is not completely clear, the evidence suggests that more deaths occur in middle-aged women who sleep less than six hours a day, compared to those who have the adequate amount of eight to ten hours of sleep a day.
As well, we know that poor sleep has a domino effect on other areas of your life and can result in you taking on unhealthy habits, such as making up for it with too much caffeine. Unsure of the right amount of sleep for your age or for others in your household?
The National Sleep Foundation has a chart that will help.
Better mood…and more
Let’s admit it, the better your sleep was during the night, the less likely you will end up grouchy in the morning. Isn’t that where the expression, “Woke up on the wrong side of the bed” came from?
People with good sleeping habits are more likely to stay happy and energized throughout the day and have a reduced chance of developing depression, anxiety and other mental disorders.
Good quality sleep can reduce levels of stress and positively impact cholesterol levels, as well as help people to have better control of their blood pressure – all of which play a significant role in heart disease prevention.
You may be astonished to find that poor rest can lead to chronic skin problems.
A study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that “good sleepers” recovered better after ultraviolet light exposure, which all of us get daily from being outdoors. In the study, participants found that their skin recovered more quickly, and they showed fewer signs of aging.
For those of you fighting the battle each day – getting your eight hours is one of the best ways to combat aging!
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More Articulate Speech
Having a good night’s sleep makes you more alert and better able to concentrate on what you say.
If you want to be able to verbalize and properly express your thoughts – be it with a friend, at work or in a public speaking engagement – quality sleep will help. Lack of sleep can cause you to stutter and even slur your speech.
It’s very common to have a throbbing headache the next day after a night of poor quality sleep.
Medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, that may disrupt sleep can also lead to nocturnal or morning headaches. Studies have shown that people who consistently do not get enough sleep are more likely to have migraines.
Bottom line: there is a link between lack of sleep and headaches, and if the lack of sleep becomes a chronic condition, so can your headaches. Make getting a good night’s sleep a priority and keep those headaches at bay.
Greater productivity and creativity
The relationship between sleep and next-day productivity is somewhat obvious. The more tired you are, the tougher it will be to focus and complete the tasks of your day…whether at work or at home. Researchers say that ” high attention tasks” are particularly challenging when you’ve had sleep loss.
Creativity may not be something you normally think of as being impacted by sleep. However, studies suggest that it is. When you sleep, you consolidate memories, making them stronger, and your brain seems to reorganize and restructure them. The result the next day is greater creativity. Who knew?
Don’t let a lack of sleep take control of you. Make getting the right amount of sleep every night a top priority. Eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount for most adults. Start today developing healthy sleeping habits to be able to live a better, much more healthy lifestyle. Your body and mind will thank you!