Benefits of Sleep
Here are some benefits of sleep:
1) Increase the longevity of your life
When you go to sleep, you are essentially restoring the cells in your body so they remain healthy. However, a lack of sleep over long periods of time is going to affect the quality of your body’s restoration, as well as weakening your immune system which can lead to even more strain on your body. By getting between seven and nine hours of sleep in per night, this will strengthen your body’s cells and keep your immune system strong, well into your old age.
2) Stave off depression
Because your sleeping habits have such a profound effect on your brain chemistry balance, it is integral to know that you’re getting eight hours of sleep every night. Sleeping ensures that you have the healthy balance of dopamine, GABA and glutamate so that you’re feeling great throughout the day. By making sure you’re dozing off for a healthy period of time each night, you can lower the levels of cortisol (stress) in your body, helping you hone your confidence and inner peace of mind.
Without getting your optimal sleep levels, you lower the mental frequencies and capabilities of your brain. This makes you far more likely to have anxiety, to overthink and ruminate on negative thoughts, which completely mess with your state of happiness.
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3) Boost your creativity
Get those creative juices flowing. Sleep helps you with cognitive brain function and also allows you to consolidate, restructure and reorganize memories better, making them more vivid. According to a Harvard University study, sleep strengthened the emotional components of their control group’s memories, which contributes to improving creativity.
4) Lose weight
There’s a number of reasons why sleep deprivation contributes to weight gain. When you haven’t slept properly, it weakens your pre-frontal cortex, which essentially controls your willpower and impulses. This is what allows you to say “no” to that doughnut offered to you at the office.
Another reason is that a lack of sleep can lead to piling on pounds of fat. This is because insufficient sleep leads to the promotion of two hormones – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells your brain ‘I’m hungry’ and leptin is a hormone that cues your brain, ’I’m full’.
Funnily enough, ghrelin (the ‘I’m hungry’ hormonal cue) is increased in the body when tired. Leptin (the ‘I’m full’ hormonal cue) is dramatically reduced when tired. This can rapidly accelerate your body’s cravings and can really contribute to gaining weight.
Finally, when overtired, the brain’s reward centers (i.e. dopamine), are accentuated and heightened to look for more short-term gratification. This will obviously lead to dopamine-inducing foods such as a chocolate chip cookie, or slice of greasy pizza, equal to huge surges of pleasure to the brain’s reward centre. However, these aren’t great for your figure for well-known reasons!
When you take care of your sleep, you take care of your brain, which takes care of your body.
5) Boost your athletic capabilities
When you’re in the gym, one of the best ways to improve your performance and health is by improving the quality of your sleep. YouTube fitness celebrity and Nike model Brandon Carter, says that he gets at least nine hours of sleep every night and attributes his sleeping habits as one of the biggest reasons for his optimal physical shape.
Furthermore, a Stanford University project found that college footballers who slept at least 10 hours per night over an eight week period improved their sprint speeds and stamina, as well as being less tired during the daytime.
Because our body repairs itself when sleeping, it makes sense that the better quality sleep you have, the better you recover.
6) Reduce inflammation
Inflammation has been scientifically linked to many health problems in people, such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and premature ageing. Leading on from the last point, by getting a deep rest in your REM period and strengthening your body, you’re going to lower the chances of these health problems happening.
In fact, a study from 2010 uncovered that C-reactive protein, commonly associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.
7) Study smarter
According to a 2010 study by the appropriately named health journal, Sleep, children ranging from ages ten to sixteen who had sleep-disordered breathing (such as snoring, sleep apnea and other types) were far more likely to have issues with attention, learning and focusing for long periods of time. This led to them having poorer grades and is a clear example of why sleep is so important to our brain’s cognitive function.
A commonly occurring issue witnessed are people who work into their sleep time thinking that they’re being more productive, when actually their lack of sleep is affecting their brain’s performance on a substantial level. When these missed hours add up over the course of the days, weeks, months and years, you’re going to lose out in your general life and success in the long run.
If you want to know 7 Sevens Ways to Improve Your Sleep CLICK HERE.
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