We’ve heard it time and time again: sleep is important.
But you might be surprised to learn about just how many ways a better night’s sleep can affect – and improve – your life and health. Here are the 8 benefits of getting a great night’s sleep.
- Improved Memory | Studying for that big exam or trying to learn a new task at work? Might want to re-think those late night cram sessions. It’s during sleep that your brain builds new memories.
- Relieve Pain | Studies have shown that lack of sleep can actually lower pain thresholds. That means that getting enough sleep is especially important for those suffering from any kind of chronic pain.
- Better focus | We all know that foggy feeling that comes with too little sleep. That feeling is in fact backed by science. Lack of proper rest makes it far more difficult for your brain to focus. The same problem is found in children, but the result is very different. Children have been shown to be more hyperactive when tired.
- Maintain a healthy weight | Getting inadequate quality and amounts of sleep affects the “feel good” chemicals in your brain. That means that when you’re tired, your brain goes for sugary and salty treats to try and gain energy and feel better. This combined with the lost motivation to exercise when you’re tired can lead to unwanted weight gain.
- Improved athletic performance | It seems to be that those who are more active actually benefit from more sleep. Athletes who got more than 10 hours of sleep were shown to have better sprint times, more stamina and less fatigue.
- Be safer on the roads | One night of inadequate sleep can affect driving performance as much as an alcoholic drink. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics have shown that sleep deprivation is responsible for more fatal single car crashes (those such as driving off the road) than drivers under the influence of alcohol.
- Stronger immune system | Some small studies have shown that those who got seven or more hours of sleep were more likely to fight off the common cold.
- Happier mood | You don’t need a scientist to tell you that being tired makes you cranky. But science does agree that not getting enough sleep decreases your brain’s ability to regulate emotions. So getting those couple extra hours aren’t just good for you, they’re good for those around you.
Get even more great advice for improving sleep with expert tips from the Cleveland Clinic.