Six Benefits to Better Sleep

Women in pink pajamas sleeping peacefully in bed.

When it comes to optimal health, most people think of eating a variety of nutritious foods and performing regular exercise are the most important components to overall health. They forget that adequate sleep is equally as important.  

When we are over tired or sleep-deprived, other areas in our life begin to diminish. Here are six reasons to ensure that you are obtaining enough rest every day.

1. Sharpens mind and increases learning.
Sleep improves the ability to learn and recall information. Experts suspect that pathways of brain cells form or strengthen during sleep to help people learn and remember better.

2. Improves focus and reaction time.
When a person is sleep-deprived, it’s harder for him or her to focus. Tiredness impairs judgment and the ability to respond. This is especially important when driving and operating machinery.

3. Refuels the heart and vascular system.
Before the body enters into deep sleep, the heart rate and blood pressure go down. This nightly dip is good for heart and vascular health.

4. Repairs cells and releases growth hormones.
During sleep, growth hormones are released. In adults, these hormones help repair cells and tissues. In children they do the same and also aid them in muscle mass and overall growth.

5. Boosts immune system.
The body produces additional cellular hormones called cytokines that help bodies fight off infection. When a person is feeling ill, the best medicine is a good night or day’s rest.

6. Regulates appetite.
The body increases production of the appetite suppressor leptin and decreases the appetite stimulant grehlin. Studies also show that the less you sleep, the more people eat foods in higher calorie and carbohydrate content.

Now that you know sleep is essential, how can you actively obtain more hours per day? Try these tips to ensure you have a good night and sleep tight.
- Darken and quiet the room where you sleep.
-Turn off and avoid all electronics one hour before bed.
- Read a book, pray or meditate right before you lie down.
- Make the room cooler if possible.
- Tidy the room. A cleaner environment makes for a less cluttered mind.
- Monitor your sleep tools to ensure your bed, pillow and sheets are comfortable.