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Five Health Facts About Sleep You Should Know

woman with sleep mask

Sleep and Your Health

So you want an improved quality of life? A healthy body and mind? What's that? You're only sleeping 4-6 hours a night? One word: counterproductive. In this blog, we'll take a look at what sleep can do for your health and how it can impact your life.

First, quality sleep improves your immunity to common ailments.

People make the argument that they don't have enough time on their hands in the day, so they give up sleep. That's a valid point. But remember that there are also consequences to sacrificing sleep. According to a study published by Pflügers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology, lack of sleep, and interrupted sleep patterns are both associated with a weakened immune system and greater instances of cold and flu. We all know how bad this flu stuff can get, don't we? This means that while you may think you're gaining time by not sleeping enough, you'll actually end up losing on the back end when you get sick.

Second, your actions are much safer when you are well rested.

Didn't get a good sleep last night? You might as well be drunk.

Yep, that's right. According to a study published by Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sleep deprivation produces impairments in cognitive and motor performance equivalent to legally prescribed levels of alcohol intoxication. Trying to do physical work while being sleep deprived means that you'll be less focused on tasks, which means a higher risk of accidents and injuries, especially when you're behind the wheels.

Third, you will experience better moods when you get enough sleep.

Ever notice how grumpy people get when they are tired? University of Pennsylvania researchers found that sleep-deprived people feel stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. Adequate sleep gives the nervous system a chance to recover and lets the hormonal system balance itself - leading to more emotionally stable and happier waking hours. So, if you want to increase your chances of being in a good mood, get a good night's rest.

Fourth, more sleep improves a person's control of their body weight.

It's 3:30 a.m., and you're wide awake for the third night in a row. You get out of bed and stumble to the kitchen for some warm milk you think will put you to sleep. So why are you now eating a bowl of ice cream with a side of cookies? The team of researchers at the University of Arizona Health Sciences may know why. According to them, when you're sleep-deprived, you're like, 'Oh, you know what, I want something starchy, sweet and salty." So, having a good sleep indirectly helps you maintain an ideal body weight.

Additionally, when you're well-rested, you'll have the energy to put maximum effort into your workouts. This has a cascading effect on your emotions and body fat composition, which leads to greater weight control. You just have to get the ball rolling.

Fifth, greater memory retention is associated with adequate quality sleep.

Ever wonder why you immediately forget a person's name, or you just can't seem to stay on task at work? It's probably because you have been burning the candle at both ends. When we sleep, our brains go through a defrag process similar to a computer. American Physiological Society says that a lack of sleep means your brain won't get the opportunity to process all of your thoughts and memories from the day, ultimately leading to memory loss and reduced cognitive function. Want to have a healthier, more vital brain? Get yourself eight hours of quality sleep each night.

If you're serious about getting your life back on track, and you seem to be doing everything right, but you aren't making progress, maybe the thing holding you back is simply getting quality sleep each night. If this is the missing link, what could be easier to address than simply going to sleep?

 

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