25 Ways Sleep Can Positively Affect Your Health
At Hawaiian Ola, we’re all about health and educating our community on ways to optimize well-being. For example, our Noni Immunity shot was created to give you a boost without interfering with your sleep cycle. We know how a lack of sleep can interfere with your health—and conversely, all about the health benefits of getting enough sleep.
As you may have guessed, the lion’s share of sleep’s positive health benefits affect your brain. Getting enough sleep can help you:
1. Improve Memory
When you sleep, your mind engages in a process called “consolidation”. This is the process by which you strengthen memories and “practice” skills you learned while you were awake.
2. Work Through Problems
When you’re trying to work through a problem or learn something new, sleep on it! You might find yourself getting the hang of it when you wake up.
3. Beat Depression
A lack of sleep can contribute to depression. Getting a good night’s sleep can keep your mood stable.
4. Reduce Stress
When you miss out on sleep, it starts a vicious cycle. Your body will go into a state of stress, which in itself produces stress hormones. In addition to increasing your blood pressure, these make it difficult for you to sleep.
5. Keep Yourself Alert
Obviously, a good night’s sleep makes you more alert the next day. You’re less likely to make mistakes while at work, and you’ll stay safe while driving and performing other activities.
6. Stay Energized
Much in the way that losing sleep starts a negative cycle, getting enough of it starts a positive one. When you have enough energy to be active throughout the day, you’ll sleep better the next night. This will keep your energy levels
7. Improve Cognitive Function
The American Psychological Association found that people who don’t get enough sleep show “pronounced cognitive deficits”. Sleeping enough can improve memory and decision-making skills, and it can help you be more attentive.
8. Regulate Your Mood
Sleep helps with your emotional regulation. When you’re not carrying a large sleep debt, you’re less subject to sharp mood swings, like crying jags or irritability.
9. Think More Clearly
Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived have a harder time solving logic or math problems. You’re also more likely to make odd mistakes—like when you leave your keys someplace strange.
10. Promote Creativity
The brain uses sleep as a time to reorganize and restructure memories. This may result in more creativity. If you’ve got a creative project to work on, make sure you pay off your sleep debt first!
There’s a reason they call it “beauty sleep”—and beauty isn’t just about vanity. A lot of the time, things considered aspects of beauty are tied to your health. Getting enough sleep can:
11. Control Your Weight
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat those who were sleep-deprived. The latter group also reported feeling hungrier, most likely due to decreased levels of the hormone that signals fullness.
12. Boost Your Metabolism
Sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates. If you start getting a good night’s sleep each night, your metabolism might be affected for the better.
13. Restore Your Body
During sleep, your body undergoes repair and detoxification. Have you ever wondered why sore muscles always feel better after a good night’s sleep? That’s because during sleep, damaged muscles are restored.
14. Repair Skin Damage
Skin cells sustain damage in your day-to-day life. If you want beautiful skin, get plenty of rest. You’ll avoid eczema and psoriasis, as well as premature skin aging.
Sleep isn’t just vital for your mental health and appearance. It has several benefits to your physical well being. Sleep can increase your quality of life in a variety of ways:
15. Boost Your Immunity
If you’re planning on getting a flu shot this season, plan on getting plenty of sleep to go with it!Getting enough sleep helps your immune system produce more antibodies in response to a vaccine.
16. Diminish Inflammation
An increase in stress hormones from lost sleep can raise the level of inflammation in your body. If you suffer from inflammation-related health issues, like arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes, getting enough sleep might relieve some of the symptoms.
17. Enhance Your Sex Life
In men, impaired sleep has been linked to lower testosterone. Combined with the fact that 26% of people said their sex lives suffer when they’re too tired, this makes getting enough sleep really good for your sex life!
18. Improve Athletic Performance
The key to kick-starting your athletic performance may be in getting enough sleep. According to a Stanford University study, college football players who slept 10 hours a night improved their average sprint time, had less daytime fatigue, and had more stamina.
19. Lessen Risk Of Injury
Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision-making. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to hurt yourself—or worse.
20. Ease Pain
Many studies have shown a connection between lost sleep and a lower pain threshold. Getting enough sleep might ease chronic pain, as well as acute pain from injuries.
Getting adequate sleep won’t just improve your quality of life. It’s been found, time and again, to actually prevent and help fight life-threatening diseases. Making a habit of getting a good night’s sleep can:
21. Fight Cancer
It’s unclear why, but getting enough sleep may lower your risk of developing cancer. Troubled sleepers are more likely to develop prostate cancer, and women who slept less were more likely to experience cancer recurrence.
22. Increase Cardiovascular Health
Sleep has an obvious relationship with the blood vessels. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to all kinds of cardiovascular problems. Your heart will be healthier if you get enough sleep each night.
23. Lower Risk Of High Blood Pressure
When the body is sleep-deprived, stress hormones trigger an increase in blood pressure. You’ll lower your risk for high blood pressure by sleeping enough.
24. Reduce Risk Of Diabetes
A healthy amount of sleep helps control cortisol levels. This hormone sends excess glucose to your liver, creating fat there and increasing omental fat. This deep belly fat bathes nearby organs with fat and inflammatory hormones, increasing your risk for diabetes.
25. Lengthen Your Lifespan
Too little sleep has been linked to a shortened lifespan, although it’s not clear why. What is clear that you won’t only live longer—you’ll live better. Sleep has an undeniable positive effect on your quality of life.
In order to reap all of these benefits, adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. If you typically get less than that, try going to bed an hour or two earlier than usual. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel!
For more tips on improving your health through sleep, check out this article from our friends at BeHealthy.com.