Sleep; The Incredible Health Benefits From Getting More Sleep
I know you’ve heard it many times before. But don’t sleep on this information. Many of us don’t get enough sleep. Or good quality sleep for that matter…
Sleep is a fundamental component of a healthy lifestyle, and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Despite the ever-increasing demands of modern life, getting enough sleep should be a top priority for everyone. The benefits of sleep extend beyond just feeling well-rested in the morning.
Improved Cognitive Function
It even helps with your memory and brain function. Sleep plays a critical role in cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, participants who slept for eight hours had a better memory recall than those who slept for four hours. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been linked to impaired decision-making and attention deficits.
Better Physical Performance
Sleep has a direct impact on physical performance. It is during sleep that the body repairs and rejuvenates itself. According to a study published in the Journal of Sport Sciences and Sleep, athletes who slept for eight hours had better reaction times, sprint times, and shooting accuracy than those who slept for six hours. It was also found that they had a LOWER RISK OF INJURY as compared to those who slept less than 8 hours a night.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
Sleep plays a crucial role in the body’s ability to fight off chronic diseases. A lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of developing conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. According to a study published in the journal Sleep, people who slept less than seven hours per night had a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Adequate sleep can also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behaviour. Studies have shown that sleep plays a crucial role in clearing out harmful toxins from the brain, including beta-amyloid, a protein that forms sticky plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Research has also linked poor sleep quality and duration to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Getting enough sleep can also have a positive impact on our emotional well-being. A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine found that individuals who suffered from insomnia reported a significant reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms after undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia.
Enhanced Immune Function
Sleep is also essential for the body’s immune function. During sleep, the body produces cytokines, which are proteins that help the immune system fight off infections and inflammation. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, individuals who were deprived of sleep had a lower immune response to a vaccine than those who slept normally.
The benefits of sleep range from improved cognitive function, better physical performance, reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved mood, and enhanced immune function. With so much to gain from getting enough sleep, it’s essential to make it a priority in our daily lives.
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- Mah, C. D. et al. (2011). The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Sleep, 34(7), 943-950.
- Cappuccio, F. P. et al. (2010). Quantity and quality of sleep and incidence of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 33(2), 414-420.
- Riemann, D. et al. (2010). The hyperarousal model of insomnia: a review of the concept and its evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 14(1)
- Chengxuan Qiu et al. (2021) Sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials and Observational Studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews.