Feel Refreshed: Benefits Of
A Good Night's Sleep
We know how awesome it feels to sleep through the night like a baby and, conversely, we know how bad it feels when we don't get enough sleep. Sleep is very powerful -- every part of our bodies need it to function. Sometimes we ignore the fact that sleeping is not just a luxury, it's a necessity. Here are 5 benefits of getting a good night's sleep.
Getting enough sleep may prevent widespread pain. In a study published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, researchers followed more than 4,000 people over a three-year period to examine their sleep habits and pain. Researchers found a link between getting restorative sleep (a solid night's sleep) and pain throughout the body. From this, they also discovered non-restorative sleep -- the kind in which you wake up groggy and not well-rested -- can make widespread pain worse. While you may be getting enough sleep, you may want to start focusing on the quality of sleep you're getting.
Getting the right amount of sleep may help preserve your memory. In a health study, researchers examined the sleep habits of a group of women over a six-year period and tested them on memory and thinking skills. The researchers found that those who got five hours or less of sleep each night aged their brains about two years more than those who got between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. If your memory seems a bit off, you might want to do an audit of your sleeping habits.
Your immune system relies heavily on sleep to keep you from getting sick. German researchers found your body produces certain proteins that help fight off illness. Additionally, the more time you spend sleeping, the less likely you are to get a cold. This might explain why you end up with the sniffles after a week of too much activity and too little sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can actually raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to all sorts of health problems like strokes, kidney damage, and vision loss. Even if you think you can function on a few hours of sleep every night, your long-term health might suffer from it. For a long, healthy life, there couldn't be a better prescription than putting on your favorite pair of footed pajamas and crawling in bed for the night.
When you're sleep deprived, your body produces more of the hormone that causes us to feel hungry and less of the hormone that makes us feel full, which can send us straight to the refrigerator for a snack we don't need. If those snacks are the bad snacks we crave, you can expect to consume a lot more calories than you would if you had a proper night's sleep.