We all know getting a good night’s sleep makes us feel better, look better and is generally a key part of a healthy lifestyle. But what are some of the top benefits for our bodies and minds associated with getting a decent 40 winks?
Even though you’re out for the count, your brain isn’t inactive while you sleep. It’s busy engaged in restoration, strengthening memories and practicing new skills you’ve learnt during the day. If you’re having difficulty remembering something or learning something new, chances are you’ll perform a whole lot better after you’ve slept on it.
Everyone feels grumpy after a bad night’s sleep, but not enough sleep on a regular basis can lead to depression. Sleeping well is your best protection against feeling down in the dumps or more serious clinical depression, as you’ll feel more emotionally stable and better able to handle what life throws at you.
Studies done on centenarians (people that live to 100 years old) have shown that the majority have good sleeping habits and the oldest among them get at least eight hours a night. Sleeping better is connected to living longer and achieving a better quality of life.
If you’re trying to lose weight then don’t stay up late to do it. Getting enough shut-eye has been linked to losing fat, as opposed to sleep deprivation which causes loss of muscle. You’re more likely to feel hungry if you haven’t slept well, as sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same areas of the brain.
It’s a common scenario – you’re stressed so you can’t sleep, but the more sleep deprived you are, the higher your stress levels and so on. But as sleep helps to lower stress, you need to break the chain. If you’re feeling stressed then don’t go to bed, you’ll just end up tossing and turning and stressing more. Turn off computers/phones/TV to give your brain a chance to wind down. Do some light stretching, read a book or have a cup of hot milk to signal to your body you’re getting ready to sleep.
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