10 Health Benefits of Sleep

sleep like a baby

Today we’re back on a subject that we’ve already talked about but its always something more to know and more news to come.

Most people will make the effort to take vitamins and exercise regularly but sleep is something that is often taken for granted. After all, a person will make the commitment to create a gym routine but it is the rare individual who will establish a well-defined sleep routine.

And this is really too bad, because sleep plays a crucial role in our well-being. The quality of sleep that an individual achieves significantly influences physical and mental performance.

In this article, we discuss ten health benefits of sleep. While some of them may seem fairly obvious, there are a few which are not so well-known.

Sleep benefit # 1: Longevity – In 2010, a study conducted among women subjects aged 50 to 79 was able to establish a link between the amount of sleep and the incidences of mortality. The data showed that there were more deaths recorded among women who consistently had too little or too much sleep. Too little sleep was defined as less than five hours, while too much sleep was determined to be more than six and a half hours per night.  The researchers admitted that the study fails to prove whether the amount was sleep was an effect or a cause of death, because illnesses and diseases do affect normal sleep patterns and inadequate sleep has been linked to weaker immunity.

Sleep Benefit #2: Memory Functions – Even when you may not be consciously thinking during the day, your brain is busy processing all sorts of data and stimuli being transmitted by your senses. It is only during sleep that your brain gets some relative downtime, and it is during this state of decreased brain activity that your short term memories get consolidated into long-term ones. Thus, any new skill or knowledge that you have acquired is likely to be better remembered ad practiced after a good night’s rest.

Sleep Benefit #3: Enhanced Creativity – After getting some rest, have you ever noticed that you are able to come up with better ideas and solutions? That’s because aside from consolidating memories, sleep also provides your brain with the chance to organize, restructure and reinforce ideas and thoughts, so you can look at things from a fresh perspective. This ability to think outside the box basically translates to inspiration and creativity.

Sleep Benefit #4: Improved Performance – Like a well-tuned machine, your body processes run much more smoothly when you are getting just the right amount of sleep. This is why professional athletes observe strict sleep hygiene during playing seasons.

Sleep Benefit #5: Better Attention and Concentration – Adults may find themselves nodding off when they haven’t gotten their fill of winks but the opposite occurs in children. A sleep-deprived kid is often hyperactive and cranky, and is likely to manifest ADHD-like symptoms. In 2009, a group of pediatric researchers found that children aged 7-8 exhibited hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsive behavior if they got less than eight hours of sleep at night.

Sleep Benefit #6: Weight Management – People who get less than the optimal amount of sleep are more likely to gain weight. Sleep and metabolism are regulated in the same areas of the brain—the hypothalamus. The urges of sleep and appetite seem to be driven by similar hormones. For instance, when you feel sleepy, certain neurotransmitters are released which in turn, increases appetite.

Sleep Benefit #7: Lower stress levels – Sleep has been known to relieve stress, inasmuch as it affects cardiovascular health, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Sleep Benefit #8: Physical responsiveness – Another reason why athletes place prime importance of getting optimal sleep is because our bodies just respond better when well-rested. Reflexes are quicker, and split-second decision making is just easier. Insufficient sleep has been attributed to the majority of vehicular crashes, due to compromised reaction times.

Sleep Benefit #9: Less inflammation – People who sleep less than six hours a night have more inflammatory proteins in their blood compared to those who sleep between seven to eight hours at night. Inflammation has been linked to serious health conditions like stroke, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, and premature aging.

Sleep Benefit #10: Better Moods – Good sleep helps you achieve emotional stability, while depression and anxiety are more likely with lack of sleep. Teenagers are especially more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts when they consistently don’t get quality sleep and rest.

As medical research uncovers more conditions that are attributed to insufficient sleep, it becomes more obvious that sleep plays a critical role in the well-being and health maintenance. Sleep hygiene should be taken as seriously as other health practices. You can find more sleeping tips and how to have good sleeps from health experts on wellbeingvibe.com

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