10 Surprising Benefits of Sleep You Need To Know About
Guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, once went eight straight days without any sleep, before suddenly collapsing onto his recorder, smashing his face and waking up covered in blood. That’s just one of the damaging effects that having little sleep can do to you, and although most side effects are pretty low-key in comparison to that one, many of us should still seek more sleep.
Naturally, in the 21st century we’re taught that sleep is for the weak, and that if you want to get things done, you’ve got to stay awake longer than ever before. But every girl needs her beauty sleep, and with sleep comes a number of benefits that might just surprise you. To find out why you should be putting more time aside for a snooze, check out some of these awesome benefits.
1. More Sleep Improves Your Memory
Sleep helps to get rid of the circles around your eyes, bit even more importantly it can give your memory a much needed boost. It is during sleep when our memories are bound tighter together, which means that we have a better chance of remembering the things we learned just before bed, than the things we learned early in the morning. So if you’re studying for exams, the trick is to revise just before bedtime.
Dr. Rapoport, associate professor at NYW Langone Medical Centre, says: “If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice. But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”
That something is a process known as consolidation, and the more sleep you have, the stronger your memories.
2. More Sleep Can Help You Live Longer
Another one of great benefits of sleep is that it can help you live longer. Studies have shown that the less sleep you have, the more likely you are to die before those who slumber for longer. So whilst we’re not saying that more sleep is the magic formula to immortality, it can extend your lifespan. In a 2010 study, more women died when they only got less than five hours of sleep per night. Sleep makes us live better, with the logical conclusion being that it also makes us live for longer.
3. More Sleep Means You Get To Keep Your Figure
Next one of fabulous benefits of sleep is that it can help you keep extra kilos at bay. If you have a lovely figure that you don’t want to lose, you need to get more sleep. Rather than subsist on a mean diet that gets you down, all you need to do is get under the covers earlier and stay there for longer. It’s so simple and yet oh so effective. You see, when we don’t get much sleep, our metabolism slows down, which means that we put on weight. Researchers in Sweden have thus concluded that more sleep means less weight. Yay!
4. More Sleep Helps You Concentrate
Another one of great benefits of sleep is that it can help improve your concentration. Do you find yourself waking up each morning to a two big cups of coffee in order to enhance your alertness and concentration? Rather than rely on so much caffeine, you could just sleep more. When we wake up after a healthy night’s sleep, we feel ready to take on the world. We feel invincible, whereas if we only get 2-3 hours, we feel like death and we’re not even ready to take on the oven, never mind the world.
5. More Sleep Can Curb Inflammation
If you’re sitting there reading this and thinking, “Why do I need to care about inflammation?” here’s why: inflammation can be the catalyst for a whole host of debilitating and chronic illnesses, such as stroke, diabetes, heart disease, premature ageing and arthritis. None of these are nice things to have to go through, and if you sleep for just a handful of hours a night, the amount of inflammatory proteins in your blood levels could sore. The protein C-reactive, which is linked to heart attacks, is known to be higher in those who get less than six hours of sleep a night.
6. More Sleep Puts You In A Great Mood
According to a recent QVC survey, almost two thirds of us blame an irritable mood on a lack of sleep. That’s quite a lot, which basically means that sleep is the primary cause of a bad mood. Nice to know! But are you going to solve it?
7. More Sleep Makes You A Safer Driver
Next one of amazing benefits of sleep is that more sleep makes you a safer driver. And the world needs more safe drivers. When you’re drowsy at the wheel, it’s almost as bad as drunk driving. You’re not fully aware of everything that is happening around you, and as a consequence you’re at a greater risk of causing an accident. Indeed, sleep-deprived drivers perform just like drunks behind the wheel, so if you know that you need to be driving early the next morning, we suggest getting a good night’s sleep beforehand.
8. More Sleep Can Help To Prevent Diabetes
We’re not saying that more sleep will definitely mean you will never develop diabetes, but those who don’t get enough sleep find it harder to regulate their blood sugar. This, in turn, means they are at a greater risk of developing a problem, such as diabetes. And because diabetes is a horrendous disease that can lead to some horrific complications, such as blindness and stroke, we recommend that you get under the duvet more often.
9. More Sleep Can Reduce Chronic Pain
When we sleep, our bodies get to work on healing us. If we have a wound, it heals more during our slumber. Likewise, if you don’t sleep no where nearly enough, your pain threshold can decrease, which in turns can lead to chronic pain. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can remedy it by getting to bed earlier!
10. More Sleep Boosts Your Immune System
Tired of attracting every single cold that goes around? A lack of sleep could be at the root of your problems. If you have a lot of late nights, your body’s immune system takes a hammering, which leaves you more vulnerable to sickness. A study has shown that if you sleep six hours or less per night, you’re 3 times more likely to get sick than those who sleep for over eight hours. And because cold’s suck, you know what you’ve got to do.
So what are you waiting for? Get to bed!
Do you know other benefits of sleep?