Top 10 Benefits of Restful Sleep
Every year, more research confirms an alarming increasing trend: more of us are getting less sleep.
One study in late 2018 concluded that one-third of Americans sleep less than six hours a night, or 32.9 percent of the 400,000 people who took a health survey. Sleep experts have said the number of people sleeping poorly keeps growing, while at the same time, rates of other negative health conditions are on the rise, everything from obesity to diabetes to lost productivity.
Scientists continue to speculate on possible factors, and suspect everything from increased mobile phone usage to heavier professional and academic workloads. Health conditions like sleep apnea, which is also aggravated by obesity, may also be causing lower-quality sleep when it does occur.
Rather than focusing only on the negative results of poor sleep, consider the benefits if you could sleep longer and better.
- Less distressed appearance. Poor sleep can often lead to droopy eyelids or dark circles. Difficulty getting going in the morning may also lead to cutting back on basic grooming.
- More energy. Less sleep can cause people to feel more fatigued, not just when they wake up but all day. So more sleep can lead people to have the energy they need to get through the day.
- Positive attitude. With a better night’s rest, you may feel less stressed and more alert, making it easier to feel better about life in general.
- Increased libido. As your body begins to respond positively to changes in sleeping habits, you may feel more sensitive or romantic.
- Stronger immune system. Body systems of a chronic non-sleeper could require a focus on maintaining a groggy, overworked body. But a body that receives adequate rest might fight off other ailments like flus and colds.
- Weight loss. One of the downsides of inconsistent sleep is a tendency to gain weight as the body processes slow and it demands more calories. Instead, someone sleeping better might actually lose weight or not have those cravings so they won’t have the resulting gain. Sleep disordered breathing and sleep apnea causes lower Leptin levels (hormone that makes you feel satiated) and higher Ghrelin levels (hormone that makes you feel hungry), thus resulting higher calorie intake usually in the form of refined carbohydrates. Several cardiometabolic alterations have been associated with sleep apnea. The most important are glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which are risk factors for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Better work performance. Without having to worry about falling asleep anytime or making critical errors, people will be more productive.
- Happier parenting. As fatigue lessens, people may be able to exercise more patience during frustrating or trying times.
- Better outlook. A more positive outlook is seen by many as a benefit of getting enough sleep, including less tendency to get angry.
- Better memory. Sleep has a role in consolidating and organizing memories in your brain as well as helping you focus more efficiently, something that sleep-deprived people have difficulties with.