Welcome to daylight savings time again. For some people the change in hours can bring with it a challenge getting sleep habits adjusted. Some of us may be tempted to sleep less and be active longer – but this can be detrimental to our health. There are numerous reasons to make sure you get enough rest, but the most compelling is it can benefit you in several ways. Click through these five ways sleep benefits us and see, and then set your own regular sleep routine knowing you are truly benefiting from it.
Sleep can aid heart health by decreasing stress: When rested, the body can deal with stress more efficiently, and this can have a positive impact on heart health. Well-rested people tend to have better blood pressure levels, which has an impact on heart health.
Dieters who get enough rest have better weight loss: There is a link between hunger and rest levels, according to a study at the University of Chicago, where dieters who were sleep deprived suffered more hunger pangs than those who went to bed early. The part of the brain that controls metabolism also controls sleep. When a person is sleep deprived the hormones that drive appetite are increased. Lack of sleep also slows metabolism, which also increases weight.
Inflammation is reduced in those who get enough rest: People who sleep more than six hours a night have less inflammation in their bodies, according to one study on C-reactive protein, which is associated with risks such as heart attack, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging.
Longer lives are the result of good rest patterns: Interestingly enough, a 2010 study of women between the ages of 50 and 79 found they were more likely to die if they got less than five hours of sleep and more than six and a half per night, so too much or too little sleep impacts a woman’s life span – although it is not clear if it is less than six hours of sleep or illness disrupting sleep that is the cause of shorter life spans.
Sleep improves memory: When we sleep our minds kick into gear. We strengthen our memories, practice new skills learned during the day and work out problems that may have us stumped in wake time. Recent studies even show that infants learning new skills will remember them better after taking a short nap following their learning exercises.