Getting sufficient sleep is essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Sleep gives our mind and body a reset each night, helping us seize the day ahead!
Most people need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. By making simple changes such as a consistent bedtime schedule, dimming lights, and avoiding screens before bed can all contribute to better sleep, and therefore a more energized, happier and healthier you!
Here are some of the amazing benefits of sleep:
1) Boosts mental health:
Sleep helps us manage overwhelming emotions by helping us process emotional memories while we sleep. This helps us better manage stress, and makes us more resilient to future emotional challenges. Sleeping well is also linked to lower levels of mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Have you noticed a link between sleep and your mood?
2) Supports immune functioning and reduces risk of disease.
Sleep strengthens our natural killer cells in the body which reduces our chances of falling sick and speeds up recovery from illness. Better sleep is linked with lower rates of heart disease, cancer and dementia.
3) Enhances learning and memory
Sleep strengthens our memories and also increases our capacity for learning. So, remember to prioritise sleep when learning something new!
4) Improves decision-making
Sleeping well is linked to making more accurate judgments and greater ability and motivation to solve difficult tasks. Have you noticed a tendency to persevere on challenging tasks when you’re better rested?
5) Improves reaction times
Sleep is important for making quick decisions. When we sleep our brain strengthens neural connections and pathways involved in motor function and reaction times. Thus, a restful night sleep better prepares us to process and respond to our environment. Faster reaction times may be important at work, when driving, or in sports, or gaming.
6) Aids physical recovery
A good night’s sleep is linked to quicker recovery after a workout or injury. While you sleep, growth hormone is released, which is responsible for the repair and growth of our muscles.
7) Reduced risk of obesity
Have you noticed that it’s harder to resist snacking when you don’t get enough sleep?
Sleep deprivation increases cravings for high calorie foods. This is because a lack of sleep increases your levels of the hunger stimulating hormone, ghrelin and lowers your levels of the appetite suppressing hormone, leptin.
Want to improve your sleep? Here are evidence-backed ways to optimise your sleep.