By: Stephanie Heino
We are often reminded that we need to sleep at least 8 hours in order to function properly. Rest is a great rejuvenator, so we should all invest in our health by giving our body what it needs. Here are 10 health benefits of getting your beauty sleep every night:
Sleep helps the body repair. Nothing can revitalize the nervous system like regular and nightly deep sleep. If we don’t give ourselves that time, our nervous system won’t recharge and will thus be unable to send the correct impulses to our organs for optimum functioning. It is during the time of decreased activity that the body can do the deeper job in terms of detoxification and repair.
Sleep restores the body. When we sleep deeply, the body produces human growth hormone, which encourages the restoration, maintenance of muscles and bones, and slows the aging process! This happens much faster and more efficiently than during waking hours so it is very important to get enough sleep in order for the body to recover.
Sleep reduces inflammation. We are more resistant to infection when we get proper sleep, while those who are sleep deprived see a reduced level of white blood cells which plays an essential role of the body’s defense system. Not getting enough sleep can lead to digestive problems, fibromyalgia, decreased immunity, and other negative effects.
Sleep regulates your hormones. When we get regular sleep, our body’s circadian rhythm makes sure that our hormones are properly regulated. Adrenaline drops as well as cortisol, and we therefore feel more relaxed and balanced (and lose weight!). Testosterone and fertility hormones are secreted, helping us to feel strong and vital, as well as sexual. And sleep balances our production of ghrelin and leptin, the hormones that regulates hunger and fullness, which prevents overeating!
Sleep helps you lose weight. Our metabolic rate increases during deep sleep, so even as we are resting, we work towards getting a healthier and slimmer body. Amazing! And of course, sleep regulates hunger hormones, which reduces cravings and helps you eat healthy!
Sleep keeps you heart healthy. Heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours. This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol, which are all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 8 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep reduces stress. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it goes into a state of stress, which gives us an increase in blood pressure and produces higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes, and these stress hormones also make it harder for you to sleep.
Sleep may reduce the risk for depression. Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. You can prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, approximately 8-9 hours each night. More than 9 hours, however, can actually increase the odds of depression!