Actually, it seems if you don’t snooze, you lose. There are many benefits of sleep, which means we should all probably snooze a whole lot more. While those who sleep in are often identified as being lazy, they are in fact wiser and more likely healthier than those of us who rise and shine on six hours of sleep or less. Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, told USA Today, “Sleep is not only important for brain health, it’s part of the biology of virtually every tissue and organ in our body. A lifestyle that doesn’t provide for sleeping long enough on a regular schedule each night with good-quality sleep doesn’t support the body’s natural biological rhythm.”
Many moms and creative types tend to burn the midnight oil, but the reality is your body and brain can only take so much before it begins to display the effects of sleep deprivation. That’s why the old saying ‘go get your beauty sleep” was no joke. Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, for instance, has said she sleeps an average of 14 hours a night. If after two kids, if this is still true for Cruz, than we are green with envy (or maybe it’s lack of sleep). So are you getting enough sleep? Here are 10 benefits of sleep and why it’s always good for your health.
1. Improves Memory Getting your proper amount of sleep is said to not only improve brain functions, but you are also more likely to retain the information learned during the day if you sleep on it, like French if you’re studying it.
Read Related: Pillow Talk: How to Pick the Best Pillow for Great Sleep
2. Better Mood The benefits of sleep affect children and adults alike. When their child is cranky, parents immediately know it’s from lack of enough nighttime sleep or an insufficient nap. The same applies to us grown-ups. Didn’t sleep enough last night? Go take a short power nap and wake up in a friendlier mood.
3. It’s Bad for Your Health Lack of a good night’s sleep can not only cause one to start gaining weight, but increase one’s blood pressure, and weaken the immune system. That’s why being run down leads to illnesses all too quickly.
4. Helps Children Grow Taller Want your kid to play basketball? It’s when they are asleep that their bodies produce growth hormones. So the more deep sleep they get the more their growth plates grow.
5. Lose a Few Pounds If you snooze you will lose. Insufficient sleep lowers the level of hormones that cause you to feel full, making you feel hungry. Sleep deprivation also influences your food choices: hello carbs and sugar! So put down that chocolate cake and get some rest, and enjoy the sleep benefits of a slimmer and more svelte you.
6. It Can Make you Look Younger We’ve all seen someone who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation affects the circulation in your system and with poor circulation, edema appears underneath the eye. As do dark circles, and the skin underneath your eye turns almost paper thin. No sleep, goodbye rosy, glowing cheeks.
7. It Can Relieve Chronic Pain Pain is a leading cause of insomnia, and many patients with chronic back pain suffer from sleep disorders. Paradoxically, inadequate sleep can make back pain worse. Relaxation techniques and cutting back on caffeine can help you sleep better.
8. It Can Make You More Creative Why do writer’s wake up early to start working? Because they are still in a semi dream state, where their brain makes remote associations and strange connections in our thoughts that are great for the creative imagination. One of the key benefits of sleep is that it encourages this creative flow state to really come on.
9. Improve Your Child’s Grades at School As Time reports, a recent study found that children who had a better quality sleep performed better in math and languages. Sorry, kids, it’s time to hit the sack…now.
10. You’ll Have Better Sex More sleep benefits includes the fact that it boosts the sexy-mood-increaser, testosterone, in both men and women. Not only does lack of sleep lower your libido, it can cause erectile dysfunction in men. We have an idea: go have sex and then get a great night’s sleep.