5 Incredible Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

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.

“Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning,” says David Rapoport, MD, director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program. Not anymore. Here are some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep.

Improve memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).

“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”

In other words if you’re trying to learn something new-whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing-you’ll perform better after sleeping.

Live longer?

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 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. Sleep also affects quality of life.

“Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep,” says Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. “If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear.”

Curb inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. 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.

A 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.

People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have an improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders, Dr. Rapoport says.

Spur creativity

Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper. In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.

Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

Be a winner

If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.

The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.

 

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

13 Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar

Added sugars are empty calories. Your body doesn’t need them, and they can pack on the pounds pretty quickly. The average American eats about 22 teaspoons a day. That’s more

7 Health Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making

Eating fast food, failing to exercise, smoking a pack of cigarettes per day, avoiding the doctor… Everyone knows that certain habits, practices, and lifestyle choices are seriously bad for your

These 5 Common Foods Can Cause Inflammation

Of the 10 leading causes of death, eight of them have been linked to the same underlying cause: inflammation, a chronically on-high-alert immune system response. What’s more, certain types of

10 Common Beverages You Should Avoid

Pasteurized Fruit Juice One of the main problems regarding fruit juice is that one glass of it contains much more fruit than you’d be able to get if you ate

10 Body Parts You Are Not Washing Enough

It’s not enough to haphazardly rub that bar of soap across your body. These are the parts that you should be lathering up regularly to keep them clean, fresh, and

10 Ways to Ease Your Back Pain

Lower back pain, also called lumbago, is not a disorder. It’s a symptom of several types of medical problems. It usually results from a problem with one or more parts

5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

As our age increases, unfortunately, our brain power decreases. But the good news is, there are plenty of ways you can keep your mind sharp as the years march on.

Scroll to Top