You constantly hear that making sleep a priority is key to your health and your beauty regimen. But why is that?
Sleep is an important natural process that is needed so your body can perform a number of important functions. While you may feel like sleep is a time where you shut down, it’s actually the opposite. Your body and brain are actively working to process information from the day, restore parts of your body, and perform some strengthening functions.
Not only are your brain and body busy working during sleep, but the stages of sleep are also earmarked for different activities. This means that getting a solid seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep is crucial to keeping your body functioning at its highest levels.
When you do get enough sleep–remarkable things happen.
Benefits of Great Sleep
Give it a try. Set a schedule so you can get around eight hours of sleep a night, and see if you experience any of the following benefits.
1. Better Mood
Psychology Today points out there is more research on sleep deprivation and negative moods. Still, people who get a good night’s sleep reportedly have an increased positive affect after an achievement, while those who were sleep-deprived do not experience such feelings.
This is basically a two-fold effect. The research proves that lack of sleep can bring down your mood, and adequate sleep boosts it. After a period of sleep deprivation, followed by a great night’s sleep, you should easily be able to tell the difference.
2. Memory Improves
The science behind this one is pretty fascinating. An article from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School breaks it down as follows. There are three stages to memory: acquisition of the memory, consolidation of memories into storage, and the recall stage where you bring back a memory.
They have found that the different stages of sleep have different functions when it comes to memory. It’s also noted that there is an impact on both memory and learning when people are sleep deprived. You simply cannot do your job adequately when your brain lacks rest, but with enough sleep, you’ll be learning and remembering at the top of your game again.
3. You’re Physically Stronger
You’re working hard to be strong and fit. You drag yourself to the gym every day to get in that workout, but if you’re not making a point to get some serious sleep, it might not be worth it.
It’s true, a good day at the gym must be balanced with a good night of sleep, according to an article at sleep.org. During sleep, your muscles recover from the day’s exertions and all that hard work at the gym, and this is when your body is actually building muscle. Not having enough sleep can hamper your muscle-building efforts.
4. You Make Better Food Choices
In addition to hitting the gym to boost your health, you’re trying to eat better, right? Did you know not sleeping well can defeat your efforts? If you’re sleep-deprived, according to an article in Berkeley News, you are more apt to reach for junk food to get through the day.
Quality sleep helps your higher-level brain regions. These parts of your brain support complex judgment and decisions and help you stay on track and make good decisions about food throughout the day. That means that if you get a good night’s sleep, you’re less likely to grab chips or a sweet treat to stay awake and satisfy cravings. It can even mean that you don’t have to battle those cravings at all.
5. Weight Loss
While a good night’s sleep probably won’t be reflected on the scale the next morning, living with sleep deprivation can defeat your diet in several different ways.
The first way is mentioned above. Your body craves junk food, and you just don’t have the energy to resist. Secondly, a lack of sleep affects your ghrelin and leptin hormones, which help regulate hunger. Add to that your lack of energy and desire to skip a workout after a sleepless night, and you’ve got the perfect storm for weight gain. On the other hand, making sleep a priority can help you keep your diet on track.
6. Reduced Stress
Stress can make it hard to sleep, and lack of sleep can make you feel more stressed. This stress sleep cycle is one that needs to be broken as soon as possible. The negative effects spiral quickly and leave you physically and mentally feeling the toll.
When you prioritize sleep, and your body hits a deep sleep level, the brain chemicals that are produced are the same ones that tell your body to stop making stress hormones. If you can manage to get a full night of sleep, you can defeat the sleep stress cycle.
7. Stronger Immune System
Ward off illness by sleeping soundly. During sleep, your body’s immune system releases cytokines. These are proteins that help promote sleep, but they’re also essential when you’re fighting an infection, inflammation, or stress.
If you don’t get enough sleep for a long period of time, your body also reduces the amount of infection-fighting antibodies it produces. This leaves you vulnerable to illness in a few different ways. When you know this, it’s no surprise that when you’re sick, all you want to do is sleep.
Appropriate sleep is not just lip service. It has clear, well-documented benefits for your body and plays a significant role in a lot of biological functions. Missing out on sleep means you’re missing these functions for your body and brain.
If you’d love to sleep but have a hard time doing it, try adding ZenWell supplements to your daily regimen. With powerful Alphawave L-Theanine and ashwagandha, you’ll find your stress levels drop enough that you can get the sleep you crave. You can also find great tips for living your best life by following LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs.
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