You’ve probably read about how important it is to get enough sleep. And you know how bad you feel the next day after a sleepless night. But you may not realize how much your sleep affects the deep systems of your body. Without enough sleep, you’re setting yourself up for a range of poor health outcomes, from depression to diabetes. Getting your full seven to nine hours of good sleep can have an enormous range of surprising benefits.
1. You’ll think better
Studies have shown that your brain functions much better on regular restful sleep. Sleep is the downtime your brain needs to do essential chores like consolidating memories, processing emotions and recovering from the days processing.
2. You’ll perform better at work
You need to be performing at your best in the office, and for that, you need to have your brain operating at its top capacity. REM sleep is necessary to be able to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions. As you spend only 20% of your sleep time REM sleep, you need to make sure you get enough sleep overall to get your full dose of REM.
3. Sleep helps keep your genes healthy
Scientists have found that chronic sleep deprivation affects the functioning of your genes. Sleep is necessary for proper gene function including the genes that influence your immunity, inflammation and how well you deal with stress.
4. You’ll age better
Sleep is super important for the production of collagen which is crucial for skin repair and cell renewal as well as skin hydration. Not getting enough sleep sets you up for premature skin aging, as you’re not producing enough collagen. Your skin also needs sleep to recover from sun exposure. So, do your skin a favor and get some sleep!
5. You may live longer
Getting enough sleep is crucial for the body’s cells to renew and repair. All of your body’s systems use the downtime of sleep to re-calibrate and process, getting rid of waste products and strengthening cell walls. Your immune system can recharge and prepare itself better to fight off disease and illness. Your body will be in much better shape to deal with the stresses of the day.
Even if you're finding it difficult to get a full eight hours, science has found that regular cat naps to supplement your night’s sleep can help. Harvard researchers found that the risk of heart disease was reduced by thirty percent by having daily siestas.