Benefits From Getting Enough Sleep
Not too long ago I read an adult truth that made me laugh out loud. It was something along the lines of “I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired”. Besides making me laugh it certainly rang true. The days are few and far between when I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. Which is really unfortunate because we all get tons of benefits from getting enough sleep. I’m going to have to do some research on why many of us feel at least kind of tired most of the time when we are adults.
I know I’ve written about the normal amount of sleep before but can’t find it on my website. Therefore let’s take another look here.
For me personally I typically do pretty good with 7 hours of sleep. I can crash around 10:00PM on a weeknight and get up about 5:30AM the next day and I’m in pretty good shape. Get me much below 6 hours and I’m going to drag all day long. Maybe I’m an anomaly here but I rarely sleep until I wake up. I’ve heard the best way to actually get the sleep your body needs is to sleep until you wake up naturally. What a luxury that would be.
According to a Gallup poll done a few years ago the average american gets about 6.5 hours of sleep a night. The recommended amount is between 7-9 hours. So let’s say meet in the middle and call it 8 hours a night. That means on average people are getting 1.5 less hours of sleep a night than they should be. Even more alarming 40% of of us sleep less than 6 hours a night.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of getting enough sleep.
Benefits From Getting Enough Sleep
I know I’ve written about this before. The many negative effects of stress are something I harp on a lot in this website. Bottom line is when your body is sleep deficient it automatically goes into a state of stress. This causes many of your bodies functions to go on high alert. This causes high blood pressure. High blood pressure of course raises your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
Improves Your Memory
This one is pretty easy to get. Who among us has not felt like their thinking has been slowed way down when not getting enough sleep? ** Raises hand *** Sleep plays a huge part in something called memory consolidation. Even though your body is resting when your sleep your brain is very active. It’s processing feelings, memories, and connections between events. Getting a solid nights sleep will help you remember and process things better.
Helps Your Body Repair
There’s a reason why you are supposed to rest when you are sick of you’ve been injured. When you sleep your body repairs itself from stress, exposure, and even ultraviolet rays. Your cells produce more protein when sleeping. Since protein is a building block for cells it helps your body repair and rebuild.
Keeps Your Heart Healthier
Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur during the early morning hours which might be due to the way sleep interacts with your blood vessels. Most interesting indeed!
Makes You More Alert
Duh! That’s a complete no brainer! Which is how I can feel when I am going on a few hours sleep, like I have no brain. Getting a good night of sleep makes me feel so much more energized and alert the next day. It becomes a good cycle as well. When you wake up feeling refreshed you want to get out and do things. Be active. And when you get out and after it you have a full, busy, engaging day. Which in turn wears you out and gets you ready for another good night of sleep. See how that works?
Helps Fight Sickness
In particular sleep helps your body fight off colds. Numerous studies have shown that people who get 8 hours or more hours of sleep a night stand a much better chance of fighting off a cold. In fact people who get 5 hours or less were 3 times as likely to get a cold than those who got 8 hours. How incredible is that?! It makes sense that when we are sick our bodies need more rest and sleep to recover. It’s even more eye opening that getting enough sleep helps our bodies keep those nasty colds at bay.
Helps Your Exercise Program
It goes without saying that when you get enough sleep you tend to have a better workout the next day. Yet another one of the many benefits from getting enough sleep. I know my workouts are highly dependent upon how much sleep I got the night before. I tend to lift weights late morning, this is when my energy is typically highest. Getting a solid 7 + hours of sleep the night before does wonders for my workout. Conversely if I have a night with 6 hours or less I usually just go through the motions of my workouts. Which is better than not doing it but not as effective.
Improves Your Mood
This one is so obvious I should have put it first. Maybe I just saved the best for last. It’s easy to see how one of the best benefits from getting enough sleep is an improved mood. When we are tired we tend to be grumpy, irritable, and stressed. Not getting enough sleep, especially on an ongoing basis, can have a very negative effect on our mood. On the flip side when we are well rested everything seems to be sunnier. Our moods are just naturally more elevated when we have gotten enough rest. Numerous studies have shown this as well.
The benefits from getting enough sleep are numerous. There are many other physical, mental, and emotional benefits of getting enough sleep. I’ve listed some of the highlights here.
In our busy world of trying to do too much it can be incredibly difficult to get enough sleep. Whenever you possibly can do yourself a favor – get some solid shuteye. Your mind and body will thank you!
DRIFTOFF Premium Sleep Aid with Valerian Root & Melatonin – Zhou Nutrition
Mellow Mojo Sleep Aid – Mellow Mojo
Sleepgram Premium Pillow – by Sleepgram
Sounds Machine for Sleeping – by Dreamegg
Time to get some zzzzzzz’s,