Most people enjoy a good night of sleep after a long day. Many of us also know the importance of getting enough sleep before many of life’s important events such as going for a job interview, embarking on a long drive or taking an exam. Getting enough good quality sleep is a vitally important component of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, similar to being physically active, eating a healthy diet and staying within recommended alcohol consumption guidelines – although sleep often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
Here are few of the benefits of sleep which might encourage you to take measures to improve your sleep :
- Learning & Memory – As you sleep, your brain performs “memory consolidation”, sending new information gathered during your waking hours to your long-term memory. Research shows that if you take a nap right after studying, chances are you’ll do better on that big test.
- Drowsiness – An obvious result of poor sleep, drowsiness behind the wheel or at work can result in disaster and can affect your own personal safety and that of others around you.
- Irritable Mood – Irritability and impatience are well-known symptoms of sleep deprivation. If you find that you can’t focus at work or are too tired for activities that normally make you happy, you should take steps to catch more z’s.
- Heart Health – Serious insomnia-when sleep is disrupted at least three nights a week for over a month – can lead to elevated stress levels, hypertension and an irregular heartbreak.
- Immune System – Proper sleep recharges your immune system, enabling your body to fight off disease more efficiently. Long-term healthy sleep levels can even help fight off cancer and other serious diseases.
- Low Blood Sugar – Sleep deprivation impairs the body’s control of blood sugar, or glucose, levels, which can worsen symptoms of diabetes.
- Metabolism – If you feel sluggish after a sleepless night, your metabolism may be feeling it, too. Regular sleep deprivation can alter hormones levels, increasing hunger and causing weight gain.
Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.