From curling up with a good book to drinking chamomile tea, people everywhere have their own bed-time traditions to help them fall asleep faster. Featured here are the various health benefits of sleep that are vital to helping you look and feel your best.
Sleep is one of those daily human activities that we often times take for granted. It’s usually when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep that we feel the ramifications (grogginess, lack of clarity, dark circles under our eyes, and so on). On the flip side, there’s nothing like a deep, satisfying sleep to help you wake up feeling fantastic, and ready to start a new day.
INCREASE MEMORY RETENTION: “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.” [Source: Health Magazine] Thereby, increased memory retention is another health benefit of sleep.
IMPROVE SKIN CLARITY: “During hours of sleep, cortisol and insulin production inversely peak so that collagen 1 production is accelerated,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer. Collagen 1 production firms the epidermal/dermal junction so evaporation is reduced and water retention is maximized, he adds. [Source: Chicago Tribune]
HELP ATHLETIC ABILITY: “Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance,” says David Geier, MD, director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. Studies have found that good sleep can improve speed, accuracy, and reaction time in athletes. [Source: WebMD]
MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT: “There are several possible ways that sleep deprivation could increase the chances of becoming obese. Sleep-deprived people may be too tired to exercise, decreasing the calories burned side of the weight-change equation. Or people who don’t get enough sleep may take in more calories than those who do, simply because they are awake longer and have more opportunities to eat; lack of sleep also disrupts the balance of key hormones that control appetite, so sleep-deprived people may be hungrier than those who get enough rest each night.” [Source: Harvard School of Public Health]
In addition to the above health benefits of sleep, having a deep, restful 6-8 hour nightly sleep will also improve your emotional stability (minimizing mood swings), increase longevity and quality of life, and reduce stress levels. So, jump into bed and start counting those sheep!