I am the kind of person who NEEDS their sleep! And when building a healthy lifestyle, the importance of adequate sleep cannot be stressed enough. Both mind and body need rest to function at peak efficiency. Without it, your mental, emotional, and physical health suffer, potentially pushing you further away from your personal goals. When you sleep, you give your body the time it needs to cleanse, stabilize, and heal itself.
1. Sleep sharpens your memory
Although researchers have not fully been able to understand why we sleep and dream, they have in fact found that sleep plays a very important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day: making connections between events, feelings, and memories. This period, known as Deep sleep, is a very important time for your brain to make these cognitive links. Therefore, getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
2. Sleeping helps you stay slim
Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more prone to being overweight. This is attributed to the fact that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don’t forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis plays an important role in weight management!
3. Sleep reduces stress
When you are sleep deficient, your body goes into a state of stress. This means that your natural body functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, and the stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep. Combat this by learning and practicing relaxation techniques to counteract the effects of stress and fall asleep faster.
4. Sleep makes you more alert
A good night’s sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great but increases your chances for another good night’s sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged with your world! You’ll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.
5. And lastly, because sleep is good for the heart
Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur during the early morning hours, which may be due to the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night