Shocking Health Benefits of Sleep
By Sara Butler
Sleep is a very important part of overall health. The National Sleep Foundation reports that the average person will spend a third of their life slumbering – that’s a lot of time! So it should come as no surprise that getting adequate sleep at night has benefits to your health, though some of those benefits may just surprise you!
Even though you’re conked out, your brain is pretty busy while you sleep. As you’re sleeping, your brain practices skills it learned while you were awake. This is a process called consolidation and it’s an important part of the learning process. That means that while learning something new, such as French or a new swimming stroke, you’ll do it better after a good night’s sleep.
Inflammation is linked to a whole host of chronic diseases such as stroke, arthritis, and diabetes. Research is starting to reveal that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep each night have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood than people who get more sleep.
Aside from a boost to the memory, a good night’s sleep can also help your brain to restructure and reorganize – something that results in higher levels of creativity for some people. Researchers at Harvard have found in studies that during sleep, emotional aspects of memory are strengthened. In many people, that will make for more creativity when they’re awake!
Improve Athletic Performance
A simple way for any athlete to perform better is to make sure they’re getting adequate sleep at night. A study out of Stanford found that football players that slept at least 10 hours a night had more stamina and less fatigue than players who didn’t get as much sleep. Other studies have confirmed the same thing about tennis players! So, if you want your body to perform at its best, then you need your sleep!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you want to keep your waistline in check, then you may need to keep your bedtime in check too! People who get enough rest at night have been found to have less fat and higher muscle mass than those who didn’t get adequate rest. Not getting enough sleep is thought to mess with the balance of hormones that control hunger, among other things, which may cause people to eat more.
Sleep is important, so make sure you’re making it a priority to get enough rest every night.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.