The Health Benefits of Sleep

15 Amazing Health Benefits of Sleep

Skimping on sleep can mess up more than just your morning mood. Give your body and mind the rest it needs and really maximise the restorative health benefits of sleep. You won’t regret it…

Remember that we spend around a third of our lives sleeping – that’s close to 24 years in fact. Scientists have gone to great lengths to fully understand sleep’s benefits. We don’t know about you, but if we’re going to devote a significant portion of our “life pie” to something, we want to know everything there is to know about it too. In studies of humans and other animals, they have discovered that sleep plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions as well as performance, mood and life satisfaction. The health benefits of sleep are quite literally life-changing – not to mention, the perfect reason to make good sleep a genuine priority. If this list of 15 Health Benefits of Sleep, doesn’t make you want to jump straight into bed, we don’t know what will!

Ready to enjoy the many Health Benefits of Sleep?

1. Reducing stress levels

If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can react by producing an elevated level of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s faster paced lifestyles. Deep and regular sleep can help prevent this.

2. Improving memory

Ever noticed that when you’re really tired it’s harder to remember things? Basically this is your brain telling you that it’s not getting enough sleep. When you sleep well, your body may be resting but your brain is busy organising and storing memories. So getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

3. Lowering blood pressure

Higher blood pressure increases your chances of heart attacks and strokes, but getting plenty of restful sleep encourages a constant state of relaxation that can help reduce blood pressure and generally keep it under control.

4. Boosting the immune system 

While you’re sleeping your body is fighting back by producing extra protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight infection. So if you’re feeling a bit run down and you don’t want it to turn into a full-blown cold, go to bed early and get lots of rest.

5. Maintaining a healthy weight

Studies have proven that poor sleep can actually contribute to weight gain. Unfortunately, sleeping won’t directly make you lose weight, but it can help you keep it under control by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite and reducing your cravings for high calorie foods.

The health benefits of sleep blog post trio of people who sleep well

6. Improving mood & regulating emotions

Lack of sleep can make us more agitated, more emotional and less able to manage or control our emotions, so we’re more likely to snap at the boss or be grumpy with a loved one, neither of which is a good thing. The better you sleep, the better your ability to stay, calm, controlled and reasonable.

7. Reducing risk of diabetes

Some research studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose. It’s not definitive by any means, but it’s yet another indication of how important the health benefits of sleep can be.

8. Keeping your heart healthy

A regular sleep pattern can help to lower the levels of stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system, which in turn can reduce your chances of a stroke or heart condition.

9. Reducing pain 

If you’re suffering pain from a recent injury like a sprained ankle, getting plenty of sleep can actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and a lower pain threshold. Basically the more sleep you get the less pain you might be in.

10. Improving cognitive function 

Along with a great night’s sleep, grabbing a quick nap throughout the day can contribute towards making your brain more effective and productive. You won’t necessarily be answering all the questions on “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire“, but you may well feel sharper, more attentive and focused throughout the day.

11. Improving physical performance

A good night’s sleep is essential for peak physical performance, just ask any elite athlete and they’ll tell you. If you want to be faster, stronger, healthier, you need to be paying attention to your sleeping habits – if they aren’t great, they could certainly be holding you back from achieving your best results.

12. Decreasing risk of injury

Just as good sleep is essential for optimal performance, a lack of sleep decreases coordination and reflex times meaning you’re slower, less coordinated and less aware – meaning you’re more likely to have an accident or injure yourself.

13. Promoting a healthy glow

Did you know that good, quality sleep is essential for your beauty regime too? It most definitely is! So if you’re worried about wrinkles or premature ageing, you need to be hitting recommended sleep targets regularly. Tired skin, is dull skin.

14. Living longer

No joke; Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan—although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.) In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.

15. Curbing Inflammation linked to heart disease, stroke & arthritis 

Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.

Ready to make your wellbeing a priority & enjoy the many health benefits of sleep? Beds for Backs specialises in sleep solutions that are designed for your life and your body. Visit your local store to speak to an experienced sleep specialist or see our range of ergonomic mattresses, adjustable beds and sleep accessories here.