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The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep

By Sara Butler

You know the drill – an adult should be getting between seven and nine hours of quality sleep every night. But everyone is well aware that life doesn’t always allow for that. The problem is that dearth of sleep carries with it some serious complications to your health. Here are a few unexpected benefits of getting enough sleep at night that may inspire you to try to make a change.

It Helps You Fight Illness

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found people who snoozed less than five hours each night experienced colds or other infections more frequently. This bolsters the results of other studies that found people who got less sleep were at three times higher risk to get sick (such as with a cold) than people who got more quality sleep every night.

Improve Your Exercise Routine

Exercise and sleep, as it turns out, have a symbiotic relationship. When you exercise it allows you to sleep better at night and when you sleep better at night will improve our exercise performance. When you’re sleep-deprived, exercise will seem more difficult and that can lead to a short workout that is seriously lacking in the intensity department.

Helps to Keep Your Appetite Controlled

The hormones in your body that regulate hunger are impacted by the amount of sleep you get every night. When you cut your sleep short the hunger hormones known as insulin, ghrelin and leptin get disrupted. So, if you’re not getting enough sleep you’re likely to be hungrier and reach for food that has more of a “comfort” value rather than something healthy.

Helps to Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check

As previously mentioned, insulin can be impacted by how much sleep you get. Research has also found a lack of sleep makes it more difficult for your insulin to work properly and decrease your blood sugar. In many studies, sleep deprivation has been correlated with higher blood sugar levels and that’s especially true for men.

How to Get More Sleep

All of these are pretty good reasons to get some more shut-eye. If you’re looking to try to add some more sleep to your schedule, first try to come up with a sleep routine you can do every night at around the same time. During the day you should try to work in exercise, totaling about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, and try to cut out the caffeine in the afternoon. Also, try to create a cool, dark environment in your room to help you get better quality sleep.

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