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Seven Benefits Of A Good Nights Sleep

Getting a good nights rest can see you springing out of bed ready to take on the day ahead. But a bad sleep can leave you feeling tired, down and struggling to concentrate. Just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, getting enough sleep is an essential part of looking after your physical and mental health. Here I will guide you through some of the benefits of sleep and explain why getting enough sleep is so important.


  1. Improves your attention and concentration

Its no surprise that getting a good nights sleep can help to keep your energy levels up. But plenty of rest can also help to keep your attention throughout the day.

Not sleeping properly can mean that both your body and brain don't function properly the next day. It could affect your attention span, concentration, strategic thinking, assessment of risk and your reaction times. This really is important if you have a big decision to make, and are driving, or operating heavy machinery, because sleep deprivation makes you more likely to make a mistake or have an accident. But getting plenty of sleep can help you to stay sharp and focussed all day long.

2 Learn and make memories

Not only does sleep allow your body the time it needs to rest, repair and rebuild, but it does the same for your mind too. As you sleep, your brain begins to organise and process the information you have taken on during the day. It converts your short term memories into long term memories. This helps you to learn and means that when you wake up you can often see things more clearly.

3 Helps you maintain a healthy weight

Although more research is needed to fully understand how sleep affects your weight, some studies have shown that getting enough sleep can help you to maintain a healthy weight.

If you are not sleeping properly your body will need more energy because it is awake for longer. But you're more likely to overeat and choose foods that are high in calories later in the day. It is also thought that being sleep deprived could increase your appetite, because it changes the level of hormones that signal hunger and fullness in your body. Not only that, but if you're feeling tired, it might also mean you have less energy to exercise. So getting enough sleep could help you to maintain a healthy weight.

4 Keep your heart healthy

A lack of sleep can increase your risk of developing a high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary heart disease and a stroke. When you sleep, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally drop, to allow your heart time to rest and recover. But research has shown that if you're not sleeping properly, your sympathetic nervous system remains stimulated at night. This is the system of your body responsible for 'fight or flight' response - how your body reacts when it senses danger/ This means your heart rate and blood pressure don't go down at night if you're awake, and your body releases stress hormones that keep you alert. And if your blood pressure remains up at night, you are more likely to have high blood pressure during the day.

Not getting enough sleep can also lead to inflammation, causing fatty deposits to build up in your arteries, which can lead to coronary heart disease. Not only that, but poor sleep can disrupt your body's ability to regulate your blood sugar. The levels of sugar in your blood can increase which can cause diabetes. High blood pressure and diabetes are both major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. 445 Keep your immune system strong

There are also benefits of sleep for your immune system. This is the system of your body responsible for fighting off germs and keeping bugs at bay. Sleep gives your body the time it needs to rest and repair whilst you're sick. It supports the proteins and cells of the immune system to detect and destroy any foreign invaders your body might come into contact with, like the common cold. It also helps these cells to remember these invaders, so if you come into contact and across the same bugs, and germ pains your body is prepared to fight them off. So it is essential to allow yourself time to rest and recover when you're not feeling too well.

5 Looks after your emotional and mental wellbeing

Not only is sleep important when looking after your physical health, but there are psychological benefits of sleep too. If you have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, you might find it much more difficult to get a good nights sleep. But not getting enough sleep can also increase your risk of developing mental health.

For example, if you've got a lot on your mind, and feeling upset, anxious or worried - you might find you lie awake at night going over things going around in your head. But then not being able to sleep adds to your list of worries the following day. You begin to see a change in your mood and you are feeling low. The good news is improving your sleep can as help you to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

6 Reduce your stress levels

There are lots of things that can cause you to feel stressed, and how you personally deal with stress will be different from someone else. But feeling stressed for example from work, relationships, financial or health concerns, is often a key factor if you are struggling to sleep at night. When you're feeling stressed, your body releases 'stress hormones'. For example cortisol, which can keep you awake. On the other hand a good nights sleep can have an ;anti stress' effect and relax systems in your body that are responsible for the stress hormone.

7 Maintain good relationships

Its not that a bad nights sleep can leave you feeling grumpy, while getting enough good sleep can help to put you in a positive headspace. And when you're feeling good, its likely to be fell by the people around you.

The amount of sleep you get can affect language, reasoning and communication skills - all key factors when building relationships with others. A bad nights sleep can make it more difficult to control your emotions and communication with others, and can sometime lead to conflict. But getting enough sleep can help you to regulate your emptions, interact well with others and maintain good interpersonal relationships.

Another thing to remember ids hydrate your body! Keeping your body hydrated is essential for every function and system in your body. Aim to drink 2-3 litres a day. This will help keep you focused, energised and motivated throughout the day.

Here's to a better nights sleep



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