Sleep, nature’s sweet restorer, invigorates the weary body, and prepares it for the next days duties.
We all feel so much better after a good night's sleep. Our thoughts are clearer, our reactions faster and our emotions are less fragile after a few hours of zzz's.
But there are lots of other, less obvious but just as important, benefits of sleep that you may not know about.
Here are just a few of the ways that sleep improves the quality (and even the quantity!) of your life. They'll give you the answer to that question 'why is sleep important?'....
Sleep helps to repair your body
Your body produces extra protein molecules while you're sleeping, and these help to mend your body at a cellular level. The damage from all kinds of things, such as stress, pollutants, infection, sun exposure and so on, is repaired while you're happily in the land of nod.
Sleep helps keep your heart healthy
Your heart and cardiovascular system is constantly under pressure, and one of the benefits of sleep is that it helps to reduce the levels of stress and inflammation in your body. High levels of 'inflammatory markers' are linked to heart attacks, heart disease and strokes. Sleep can also help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels (which play a role in heart disease) lower.
Sleep reduces stress
A good night's sleep can lower blood pressure and the elevated levels of stress hormones which are a natural result of today's fast paced lifestyle. There are physical effects of stress, such as excess 'wear and tear' on your body, and an increase in the aging and degeneration of organs, cells and other body parts. By reducing high levels of stress, sleep helps to reverse these effects and encourages a state of relaxation.
Sleep improves your memory
That 'foggy' feeling that you struggle with when deprived of sleep makes it difficult to concentrate. This often leads to not being able to 'commit to memory' facts, faces, lessons or even conversations! Sleeping well eliminates these difficulties because as you sleep, your brain is busy organizing and correlating memories. One of the great benefits of sleep is that it allows your brain to better process new experiences and knowledge, increasing your understanding and retention. So, next time you hear someone say "why don't you sleep on it", take their advice!
Sleeping properly can help you loose weight
Now, this one might surprise you! One of the lesser known benefits of sleep is that it helps regulate the hormones that affect and control your appetite. Studies have shown that when your body is deprived of sleep, the normal hormone balances are interrupted and your appetite increases. Unfortunately this increase in appetite doesn't lead to a craving for fruits and veggies, no, instead your body longs for food high in calories, fats and carbohydrates! So, if you're trying to lose those stubborn few pounds that just keep hanging around, make sure that getting enough sleep becomes a priority.