Getting enough sleep has a lot of proven health benefits. Scientists have learned more and more as they've gained a better understanding of the role of sleep.
You know it doesn't feel good when you don't get enough sleep. But you may not realize how far-reaching the impact can be.
This article lists 10 ways sleep is good for your health.
During sleep, your body releases hormones. Some of them keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
Lack of sleep deprives you of these hormones. That's associated with:
This is an even bigger problem if you already have a heart condition
Sleep helps regulate your metabolism. That's the way your body converts food to energy.
Sleep deprivation can cause many problems with metabolism, including fluctuating blood sugar levels.
This can be a problem if you have diabetes. It also raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Blood sugar extremes also affect your:
Sleep helps your mind and body relax and recover from your day. When you're sleep-deprived, your body releases stress hormones.
Stress can make you react in ways that aren't productive. You may act out of fear or make rash decisions. Or you may be irritable.
A poor night's sleep can make you feel anxious. This may last until you finally get some much-needed rest.
You may not notice excess inflammation. But it can have an effect on your body.
Chronic inflammation damages structures and increases your risk of many health conditions. A few examples include:
5. Sleep and Weight Loss
Research suggests that people who sleep less are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Poor sleep appears to disrupt the balance of ghrelin and leptin. Those are hormones that control appetite.
If you want to lose or maintain weight, don't forget that good sleep is part of the equation.
Sleep helps you maintain your physical abilities. Studies show sleep deprivation leads to short-term balance problems.
That's called postural instability.
It can lead to injuries and falls. Even mild instability can cause problems during sports or exercise.
A good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert. This helps you focus and get things done.
It's easier to exercise when you're energetic and alert. So that's an indirect benefit of getting enough sleep.
Being engaged and active throughout your day feels good. And being more active all day makes another good night's sleep more likely.
Sleep appears to play a big role in what's called memory consolidation.
During sleep, your brain makes connections. It links events, feelings, and sensory input to form memories.
Deep sleep is important for this. So more quality sleep can improve your memory.
While you sleep, your body works hard to repair the damage. The damage can be from stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful things you're exposed to.
Your cells produce certain proteins while you sleep. They form the building blocks of cells. That lets cells repair the day's damage and keep you healthy.
While you sleep, your body is hard at work. It restores hormonal balance, repairs itself, and keeps the circulatory and immune systems functioning properly. Your brain forms and stores memories.
Quality sleep allows you to be energetic and alert. It allows you to lose weight, exercise, work, learn, socialize, and do all the things you enjoy.