If you are like me you love to sleep! Yet somehow you find that there is not enough time in the day to get all the “important” things done and you end up sacrificing your hours of snooze time. You wake up, work, go to the grocery store, come home, prepare lunches and do laundry before finally finding time for your pillow. However, making more time to sleep benefits you in more than just decreasing the number of times you yawn during the day. Here’s what sleep can do for you:
1. Improves your mental state
Sleep makes you sharper, more creative and more alert. It helps you pay closer attention in school, at work, and on the road while driving.
2. Improves your memory
For all you students out there, it is just as important to get a good night’s rest before learning something new as it is after. Sleep helps you process and retain the information that has been learned.
3. Decreases inflammation and improves your health
Not only is this good for your joints by decreasing pain, but inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Those who sleep less than six hours a night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood. Sleep is healing when you have a cold or the flu, the more sleep you get the quicker these ailments will go away.
4. Helps you maintain a more steady weight
More sleep increases your metabolism and helps your digestion as well as makes you feel less hungry. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain.
5. Helps to decrease stress
In regards to health, stress and sleep are interchangeable. Increased sleep can lower stress and improve cardiovascular health. It also can improve your mood and decrease the chance of depression.
6. Improves the appearance of your skin
Sleep makes you look more refreshed and at your best. Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate causing dark circles and puffy skin. Increased sleep decreases signs of aging by decreasing the sight of wrinkles, reduced puffy eyes and eliminated dark circles.
7. Sleep adds to the quality of life as well as the length of it.
Studies have shown that people who sleep more than 6 hours or more a night live longer than those who sleep less.
As you can see sleeping can improve your life, decrease stress, make you healthier, improve athletic performance, and improve your appearance. All it takes is for you to find one or two more hours in the day to sleep! I think it’s time to make an appointment with your pillow and allow yourself to indulge in all the benefits!
Rebecca McCloskey, PT, DPT
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