Woman Stretching in Bed with a Man Sleeping Beside HerSleep is one of the best health boosters we have available, and it’s completely free of charge too! Here are 10 great reasons why we should prioritise a good night sleep!

  1. Live longer – we’re all aware of the importance of exercise and a healthy diet for a healthy heart, but what’s less well known is the impact of the amount of sleep we get. If you don’t sleep enough, your veins will stiffen which eventually may lead to atherosclerosis – a condition which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke.
  1. Get smarter – During deep REM sleep, when we’re dreaming, the brain is busy storing new knowledge. If the REM sleep is disturbed, our experiences are not stored properly. Knowledge may then become hard to retrieve later and we develop gaps in our memories.
  1. Lose weight – It’s well known that what we eat converts into energy and if we eat too much, the energy will be stored in our bodies as fat. The beauty will sufficient sleep, is the fact that this storing process is reduced, and therefore also the size of our stomach. Also, sleep reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases our appetites. So, the more we sleep, the better our food intake control becomes, resulting in us automatically eating at the right times – only when we’re truly hungry.
  1. Reduce stress – Too much cortisol has another important impact on us. If we don’t get sufficient rest, even minor challenges can become hard to handle as we’re tired and struggle to concentrate. This leads to the cortisol levels increasing and we find ourselves in a vicious circle of stress. When we’re sleeping, this stress hormone is reduced which has a significant impact on our health and stress levels.
  1. Be happier – Our moods are incredibly impacted on by the amount of sleep we get. A French study showed that 4 hours of sleep, 6 nights in a row altered the hormone levels to such a degree that they started to mirror those of angry and depressed individuals. Not the personality traits anyone enjoys experiencing, in ourselves or in those around us!
  1. Reduced risk of injury – It’s been found that the risk of injuring oneself during sports is reduced by 68% for those who sleep 8 hours or more per night. This may be due to the fact that we have higher levels of concentration when we’re rested, or to the fact that our genes haven’t been able to fully repair our bodies during too short sleep. Either way, to stay fit and injury free, sleep is important!
  1. Stay illness free – The protein IL-6 is produced in our bodies during exercise as well as sleep. This protein is well known to improve our immune system and prevent, not only colds and sniffles, but also more serious illnesses such as cancer. So we can sleep our way to a healthier us!
  1. Improved performance – researchers at Stanford University found that the performances of basketball players who slept longer were significantly improved. They targeted the ball better by 9% and increased their sprinting times by 5%.
  1. Be more attractive – Your complexion is improved by sufficient sleep. During deep REM sleep, our brain mass-produces growth hormones, resulting in new elastic skin cells being developed. So there’s some science behind the expression ‘beauty sleep’!
  1. Improve relationships – When we’re well rested, we laugh more, listen better and are generally much better company. So for the sake of our relationships at home, work and socially, prioritising our sleep is important. Soles of a Couple and Their Child

So next time you feel guilty, boring or lazy because you prioritise an early night, remind yourself (and those around you) of this list. Those who don’t get enough sleep, will eventually not only adversely impact on their own life in so many ways, but won’t be very good company either! 

Sleep Your Way to a Healthier, Happier, More Successful You!
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