7 Immediate Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
(Courtesy of Mindbodygreen)
Work hard, play hard. Right? That seems to be the motto these days — but it’s one you may want to rethink. Somewhere in between the working and the playing, it’s vital to get an adequate amount of sleep.
We’ve all heard it before: Hit the hay for at least eight hours a night. But most of us believe we can get away with the bare minimum or less. We have places to be, after all. People to see. Things to do!
However, even just one night filled with plenty of those precious Z’s can deliver immediate benefits.
- Beat the blues.
Anxiety can keep you awake at night, tossing and turning. And on the flip side, lack of sleep itself might actually lead to psychological problems, too! A study reported by Harvard Medical School shows that a lack of sleep can lead to depression and multiple anxiety disorders. A good night’s sleep boosts your mood, making you feel more emotionally stable and less stressed.
- Get creative!
More Z’s probably won’t turn you into the next Picasso, but they might make it easier to access your creative mind. The better you sleep, the more likely you are to dream — and that’s when the magic happens. Studies have found that REM sleep can aid innovative thinking. Dream big.
- Sharpen your attention.
Stimulants such as coffee might help us focus. But sleep does too. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that getting a sound night of slumber helps with memory retention and “may even help us recall thoughts forgotten during the day.” No wonder people need to “sleep on it” sometimes!
- Reduce signs of aging.
Need an excuse to hit the hay? Beauty Sleep. It’s a legit reason to pass on late-night plans. Lack of sleep can increase inflammation and create hormonal imbalances, as well as weaken your immune system. None of this does the body good, especially when it comes to your epidermis. You’re bound to appear much more fresh-faced and radiant after a good night’s rest.
- Control your weight.
“People who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and obesity than people who get seven to eight hours of sleep a night,” reports of the Harvard School of Public Health. Ever feel like you’re starving when you’ve been sleep-deprived? Studies show that adequate rest actually curbs your appetite. Also, you’re more likely to adhere to a gym routine if you’re not overtired.
- Boost your immunity.
Sure, extra vitamin C is known to increase immunity. So does sleep — that’s when the body repairs itself. Chronic sleep loss is just as bad for us as stress and impairs the body’s ability to protect itself. And a healthy diet doesn’t help as much without proper sleep to back it up.
- Increase your sex drive.
If you’re more energized, you’re more likely to be in the mood to do the dirty deed. In a study reported by the New York Times, female subjects had higher sex drives when they got more sleep. As for men? Less sleep means less testosterone, which equates to a lower libido. So it looks like all parties are more inclined to “Netflix and chill” with more sleep.