Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep isn’t just important for how you feel the next day, it has been linked to maintaining both mental and physical health as you age.
Here are 5 reasons to turn down the lights and get some extra sleep tonight.
Sleep helps reduce stress
Have you ever noticed how much more calm and at ease you feel after a good night’s rest? That isn’t just your mind playing tricks on you. Sleep actually helps regulate the level of stress hormones in your body — keeping your blood pressure from spiking and high-stress from taking over your day.
Sleep improves your mood
For most of us, a bad night’s sleep means a sluggish and irritable next day. Quality sleep helps to improve our mood by increasing energy levels, mental clarity and patience.
Sleep strengthens your immune system
Did you know improved quality of sleep actually boosts your immune system? Getting more sleep improves immune cells, also known as ‘T cells’, which fight against virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells.
Sleep helps you maintain a healthy weight
Studies have shown that poor sleep habits are linked to weight gain and obesity. This may be because the hormones that regulate hunger, ghrelin and leptin, are disrupted by lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones increase causing you to have an increased appetite.
Sleep helps reduce the risk of depression and anxiety
Long-term lack of sleep can even increase your chances of developing a mood disorder such as anxiety or depression. This is because sleep helps regulate the chemicals in your body, including Serotonin (or the happy hormone). One study has shown that people who suffer from insomnia are five times as likely to develop depression.
Allowing your body to have adequate time for rest and recovery isn’t just a smart choice — it’s an essential one if you want to prioritize your mental and physical well being.