Most people have so much on their plate that they let their responsibilities carve away from their sleep time. What many people do not realize is that sleep is crucial for performance, energy, and good moods to occur. We have compiled a list of the top 10 benefits of sleep to help you understand why sleep is so important. Getting enough sleep will help to improve your life in more than one area. Check out why sleep is so important below.
1) Improved Memory
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, conducted a study to determine whether or not adequate asleep truly improves your memory. The study went like this: participants were shown images of objects. After that, they were either allowed to sleep or forced to stay awake. Those who did not get sleep were not able to remember the images as well as those who did. The researchers concluded that sleep enhances our memories while staying awake can cause them to decay. Whether you have a career or are in school, improved memory is always something that will benefit you
2) Longer Life Span
Several studies have shown that getting a proper amount of sleep is crucial in order to increase the life span of an individual. That being said, both too little and too much sleep can increase the likelihood that a person will die prematurely. Researchers found that individuals who got less than 6 hours of sleep nightly had a 12% increased risk of death. However, they also found that those who slept more than 9 hours nightly had a 30% increased risk of death. This goes to show that it is important to get the right amount of sleep. Shoot for 8 hours a night and chances are you will live a longer, healthier life.
3) Improved Performance
If you consider yourself an active person, sleep may be the key to improving your athletic performance. A study conducted at Stanford University found that football players who got adequate sleep at night over an extended period of time improved their average sprint time. They also experienced more stamina and less daytime fatigue. So if you runners are looking to improve your times, try getting more sleep at night. It may help more than you think.
4) Curb Weight Gain
Think about it. When was the last time you were sleepy and opted for a candy bar or bagel to give you a boost of energy? You aaren’talone! Lack of sleep can cause us to use unhealthy foods to help us make it through the day. Adequate sleep helps your metabolism to function properly. Don’t get confused, we aren’t telling you that getting an extra hour of sleep will make you lose 10 pounds. However, getting enough sleep helps you to lose weight more efficiently and effectively.
5) Minimize Pain
If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain of any sort, you may want to reevaluate your sleeping schedule. A study conducted showed that the amount of pain sensitivity individuals experienced changed depending on the amount of sleep they got. Those who got adequate sleep were able to withstand pain for 25% longer than those who did not. If you have joint pain, try getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night. You may notice a difference in how you feel throughout the day.
6) Lower Risk of Injury
Sleep is required in order to help our bodies recover, repair, and grow. For this reason, sleep is even more crucial for those who live active lifestyles. Have you noticed that the worst injuries happen towards the end of the game/match/race? That’s because the athlete’s bodies are physically exhausted. Sleep deprivation leads to slower metabolism, which leads to early onset fatigue. Not to mention the fact that reaction times are slower in sleep deprived people, and concentration spans are shorter. In order to keep your body safe and lower your risk for potential injury, sleep is an important part of the equation.
7) Stress Reduction
It seems that stress and sleep are negatively correlated. That is, when one goes up, the other goes down. When you get the right amount of sleep, it is likely that you will feel better prepared for the day ahead of you. This will cause your stress levels to be lower. On the other hand, when you do not get enough sleep, you are likely to have increased levels of irritability and anxiety. If stress is an issue in your life, it would be worth it to make some adjustments to your sleeping schedule.
8) Improved Complexion
Beauty Sleep. We hear it all the time, but how often do we think about what it means? A lack of sleep can suppress the immune system, which leads to skin problems such as rashes. On the other hand, adequate sleep can increase the amount of collagen your body produces. Collagen firms the skin by reducing evaporation and increasing water retention. Sleep can help to improve your complexion, and may be the best anti-aging treatment on the market- and it’s free!
9) More Energy
This is probably the most obvious benefit on the list. Clearly, the right amount of sleep can give you more energy to get throughout your day. Whether it be work, running errands, driving kids around, or working out at the gym, sleep will give you the energy to do it all! In order to get the most out of everyday, sleep is absolutely necessary.
10) Curb Depression
You’ve probably experienced it: You have a restless night and the following day you are irritated by everything. Over time, it can really wear a person down. A lack of sleep can contribute to depression. According to Dr. Jean, “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.” Getting the right amount of sleep can help you to feel revived and refreshed, mentally preparing you for the day ahead.
Hopefully this list of the top benefits of sleep will convince you to reevaluate your sleeping schedule. Whether you are getting too much sleep or not enough, getting the right amount could make a big difference in your life. Aim for 7-8 hours per night. We guarantee your life will be improved in more than one aspect!