Here are some key benefits to a good night’s sleep - usually 7 to 9 hours. It’s important to understand them because a lack of quality sleep can negatively impact us in so many ways.
Improves productivity and creativity: Feeling drowsy and trying to stay awake takes a lot of mental energy, making it more difficult to stay focused on complex tasks and those that require concentration. Good sleep also helps improve work productivity in several ways. First, it helps improve concentration and focus, allowing you to be more productive during the day. This can lead to improved decision making and problem solving. Finally, it helps increase creativity, allowing you to come up with fresh ideas and solutions. All of these factors combined can lead to improved productivity in the workplace.
Reduces stress : Quality sleep can reduce stress by helping the body and mind to relax and restore. Getting enough sleep helps to regulate the release of the cortisol hormone when we are stressed and so improves our ability to cope with stress. The reduction of stress levels also improves blood sugar levels.
Improves heart health: When we sleep our blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time. High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. Good sleep can improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It can also help to regulate the hormones that control appetite, which can reduce the risk of obesity and its associated health risks. Additionally, good sleep can help to reduce inflammation, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Weight management: When we don't get enough sleep, our bodies produce higher levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for stimulating hunger and cravings. A lack of sleep also reduces levels of the hormone leptin, which is responsible for telling the brain when we are full. As a result, we may feel hungrier and have food cravings even when we are not truly hungry. Getting enough sleep can help you manage these hormones better and, thus, to maintain a healthy weight.
Improves blood sugar levels: Good sleep also helps to regulate hormones that control blood sugar levels, including insulin and glucagon. Poor sleep can cause fluctuations in these hormones, leading to unstable blood sugar levels. Additionally, good sleep may help to reduce inflammation, which is another factor that can lead to better blood sugar levels.
Memory boost: Good sleep helps improve your ability to remember facts, events, and skills. It helps the brain to more efficiently commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation.
Better mood: A lack of sleep can lead to irritability, stress, and even depression. Getting a good night’s rest can help improve your overall mood, making you feel a lot happier than you might otherwise.
Boost your immune system: Good sleep helps to boost the immune system by increasing the production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. Sleep also helps to reduce stress hormones, which can suppress the immune system. Additionally, during sleep, the body produces cytokines, which are proteins that aid in the body's response to inflammation and infection.
Better cell repair: During sleep, the body has an opportunity to restore and heal itself, and the associated production of hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone help to repair damaged cells. Furthermore, lack of sleep can lead to an increase in oxidative stress, which can be damaging to cells and tissues. Thus, good sleep helps regulate the body's natural repair processes.
Boost fertility : Good sleep can help improve fertility by reducing stress, which is known to have a negative effect on fertility. When the body is well rested, it can better regulate hormones, including those related to fertility. Stress-reducing hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins are released during sleep, which can help to improve fertility. Additionally, good sleep helps to improve overall health and energy levels, which can help to improve the chances of conception.