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Benefits Of Sleep

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Most people nowadays are juggling two to three jobs every day just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, they are missing out on their much-needed sleep hence they become at risk of high blood pressure, early onset of Alzheimer’s disease, and even sleep disorders too.

Scientists and health experts cannot put enough emphasis on the fact that you need to have a good night’s sleep so that you will be energized and revitalized the following day. Getting adequate sleep will help you become focused, alert, and ready to take on the new day.

Why do we even sleep in the first place? Scientists are still trying to understand why people fall asleep, but they are coming up with ideas on how it affects our lives. Although it is possible that sleep may have something to do with our evolution, it maybe linked to our memory and health as well. [1] So, what are the benefits of sleep, anyway?

Benefits of Sleep Physically

For those who are wondering what the benefits of sleep are, you might be surprised to find that there are literally dozens of health benefits to be gained from getting a good night’s rest. Let’s start with its physical benefits to people:

· Improves cardiovascular health. Sleeping plays a role in keeping your cardiovascular health in good condition because when you sleep, your muscles go into rest mode which includes your heart. In your non-REM sleep, your blood pressure as well as your heart rate drops allowing your heart to rest. For those who do not get enough sleep, your muscles, as well as your heart, will not be able to enter a relaxed state which can you put at risk for angina, stroke, as well as heart attacks. Without proper sleep, you may succumb to heart disease which can be detrimental to your overall health.

· Weight loss. Another benefit that is associated with getting a good night’s sleep is that it may help you keep your weight down. Studies show that with the current lifestyles that we have over the past few decades where lack of sleep has become the norm, the rates of obesity and diabetes have increased. The problem with poor sleep or sleep deprivation even means that your body is not producing enough leptin to suppress your hunger. This means that you tend to eat more the following day because your body needs energy which can lead to weight gain. If you want to be able to control your weight, you will have to improve your quality of sleep. [2]

· Prevents inflammation.What benefits of sleep should you expect when you are sleeping properly at night? It appears that going into nrem sleep helps combat inflammation in your body which can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, as well as premature aging. Research shows that those people who barely get enough sleep every night can high have higher blood pressure. Those who have insomnia or sleep apnea may see significant improvement to their blood pressure when their sleep disorder is treated as soon as possible. [3]

Benefits of Sleep Mentally

What other benefits of sleep can you expect when your sleep quality is good? It appears that it has a huge impact to our mental health which is something you should consider. Sleep as well as stress go hand in hand and which means that when you miss out on sleep, your cortisol levels, or stress hormone, can go up which can lead to high blood pressure, irritability, and so on. If you manage to go into deep sleep, where your body can rest for hours, you will be able to prevent heart disease and other mental health issues from happening.

Another benefit that is linked to minimal sleep loss is that it can help combat depression. Mental problems like this often go hand in hand with lack of sleep because your circadian rhythm is out of whack. Sleep problems cause people to become depressed and mentally unsound as they become frustrated that they often end up tossing and turning on their bed at night. Reports show that those who are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, and other sleep-disordered breathing problems experience depression compared to those who don’t. [4]

Benefits of Sleep Impact on Learning

People should be aware of the numerous benefits of sleep so that we will make more effort to address sleep deprivation which we succumb to every day. One particular area that we benefit from when we get a good night’s sleep is in learning. Here are some examples:

· Improves brain function. Getting enough rest at night can lead to better brain function which includes concentration, cognition, performance, as well as your productivity levels too. Sleep deprivation can have a huge impact to your learning since you are not able to concentrate properly. When you study, you should stick with your sleep patterns as this will help improve your learning abilities.

· Clearer thinking.Sleep deprivation can affect your learning abilities as your brain tends to function slower, leaving you with this fuzzy and confused feeling when you wake up which is referred to as sleep inertia. This can go on throughout the morning which can impair your learning as you study at school which can affect your grades if you don’t do something about it.On the other hand, if you are sleeping for 7 to 8 hours per day, you will be able to solve math and scientific problems with ease because your brain is working properly. [5] This is something to take into account when you need to study for an exam.

· Better memory. For those who need to retain information when they study, you need to make sure that you have time to sleep at night. It is understandable that you want to study until late at night but if you are missing out on sleep, you are not doing yourself any good especially since your sleep patterns have changed..Sleeping helps your brain absorb and process more information which can help with your long-term memory. This is going to be useful when you study since you will be exposed to various information in school.

Benefits of Sleep Emotionally

What other benefits can you get when you get to sleep better at night? Well, it appears that when you go through the different sleep cycles from REM sleep to non-REM, you are also regulating your emotions. You’ve probably felt better and happier when you were able to get a good night’s sleep as is evidenced with the way you tackle the tasks for the day. Here are other benefits to your emotions that are linked to sleeping well at night.

· Improves your mood. Sleep loss caused by sleep apnea, poor sleep habits, high body temperature, and the like will not only make you feel sleep in the morning, but it can also affect your mood. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, it is worth considering using supplemental oxygen to help you with your breathing at night. Most people who lack sleep tend to lash out at others because their mood is sour. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious cycle since if you are stressed out, it will be difficult to sleep at night. This can affect your sleep-wake cycle unless you take steps to be able to fall asleep quickly at night. There are many ways to be able to sleep soundly such as getting a massage therapy, listening to binaural beats, or doing yoga nidra, which is a powerful meditation practice that can improve your sleeping habits.

· Boosts personal relationships. People who are missing out on sleep may find it difficult to maintain any personal relationship as their mood tends to go out of whack which can affect their time together. The problem with becoming sleep deprived is that it affects your mood and mental health which can be detrimental to having any personal connections. This is why, if you want to be able to prolong your relationship with your partner, or make more friends, you need to make time to get into bed at the right time so you will be able to sleep for several hours. [6]

Benefits of Sleep on the Quality/ Longevity of Life

According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting proper sleep at night has numerous benefits to our mental and physical health in the long run. Aside from the ones mentioned above, what other advantages does this habit provide people with?

· Boosts longevity. Did you know that those people who manage to sleep for 7 to 8 hours on a daily basis are less likely to die early than those who do not? One reason behind this is that your immune system is working because you are giving your body time to rest. Another thing that you will like about sleeping is that it improves turnover of healthy cells which can increase your longevity.

· Makes you look and feel younger.How will you know if you are deprived of sleep? Well, one of the signs that you are not getting proper sleep is when you are seeing signs of premature aging, especially around the eyes, which can be frustrating and depressing at the same time. If you have dull looking skin with lines and wrinkles starting to appear, you will need to reconsider the number of hours you put for your sleep. Keep in mind that when you give your body the rest it needs, you will be able to maintain a healthy-looking skin that will make you look younger than your age. [7]

· Improves immune system.Another way that sleep can help prolong your life is because it can strengthen your immune system. This means that you will not be exposed to various health issues from cardiovascular health, to mental health, and your emotional state just to name a few.

· Prevents cancer.Only a handful of people know that sleep can help reduce their risk from cancer. Those who tend to work late at night or are in night shift are at risk of colon cancer and breast cancer according to research. One reason behind your disrupted sleep at night is when you are exposed to light which can affect your melatonin production. If you want to be able to drift off to sleep, you might want to reconsider keeping your bedroom dark and that you turn your gadgets off as well. [8]

· Makes you smarter. What else can you get from sleeping well? If you manage to get decent hours of sleep, you will find that it is easier to concentrate and absorb information which we all need if we want to be able to make quick but sound judgments all the time. But if you think that the only time you get to do this is when you sleep at night, think again. It appears that when you take a nap, you are also helping your mind and body to feel refreshed which can prompt you to be more productive.

· Drive better.Another benefit to getting enough sleep at night is that you are less likely to become involved in a car accident in the morning because you were able to rest up well. Those who become sleep deprived tend to get into accidents on the road since they tend to doze while they are behind the steering wheel. If you are wondering how you will be able to sleep better, you might want to listen to binaural beats isochronic tones. Isochronic tones help your brainwave go into a pattern that will invoke sleep. The same thing goes with binaural beats.

As you can see, there are several benefits that are linked to getting a good night’s sleep. But how will you will be able to maintain this? Aside from listening to beats that prompt you to go into deep sleep, changing your pillowcase into silk pillowcase makes your pillows more comfortable and cooler. The goal here is to make you go into a calm and relaxed state so you will be able to slip into sleep without any hitch.

Resources:

1. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep
2. https://www.tuck.com/sleep-benefits/
3. https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221,00.html#curb-inflammation-0
4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important
5. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more
6. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/28/biggest-sleep-health-bene_n_6549830.html
7. https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-sleep/

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Sleep trainer working in New York City in a voluntary orthopaedic practise. Also an independent medical writer and designer.
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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

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Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by healh experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians