Image by: Timothy Krause
By Jake Bradshaw
It’s not a secret that getting the proper amount of sleep will give you more focus and energy throughout the day, but what most people don’t see is that it also has a significant effect in other areas as well. In fact, studies have shown that sleep will boost your immune system, help keep your mood stable and also maintain your weight fluctuation.
Research has shown that most Americans are sleep deprived. Although there are a few people that say they can function on less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the scientific ratio of those people are 1 in a 1000, according to the American Psychological Association. By giving your self an extra 60 – 90 minutes of sleep per night, you are helping your overall health for the long haul.
In today’s busy world, we need all the help we can get. If we want to grow in our success – both professionally and personally – then we can’t underestimate the power of sleep.
#1) Boosts Immune System
By getting enough sleep, you immune system will become stronger. In a 2011 study, doctors found that people who get 7 – 9 hours of sleep have significantly more T-cells than people who get less than 7 hours of sleep. T-cells fight diseases, as well as the common cold and the flu. The bottom line? Less sleep will make you more vulnerable to getting sick.
#2) You Learn Things Quicker
In a process called “consolidation,” new activities you are learning while you’re awake will be strengthened during sleep. The information and sense memory become activated in the brain which allows you to retain it better once you you’re awake.
So if you are doing research or learning a new physical activity, be sure to get sleep. Your brain will do the rest for you. Research has also shown that sleep can allow your creativity to blossom.
#3) Better Sex
Sleep nourishes the brain, and the brain activates every part of your body – including your sex drive. With a fully functioning brain, it will be a lot easier for your nerves to do what you want it to do. You will last longer during sex, plus you won’t be so exhausted afterwards, since you’re not over compensating your energy and brain cells.
#4) You’ll Be Less Stressed
Recent laboratory experiments have shown that sleep deprivation increases levels of stress hormones. One or two nights of little sleep won’t do much harm in this area, but long term sleep deprivation of 4 – 5 days will increase these hormones. The worse part is that once these hormones are multiplied, it takes a while for them to retract again. Don’t let them get to that point!
#5) Longer Lifespan
A recent study of people between the ages of 50 – 79 has revealed more deaths in those who slept five hours or less a night than those who had 6 and a half or more. A major reason for this is because of the immune system benefits.
With more T-cells, your body can heal itself faster, which leads to longer health and a wider lifespan. Plus a consistent sleep pattern will strengthen the defense of future illnesses.
#6) Better Metabolism
Surprisingly, metabolism and sleep are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Sleep deprivation will send certain hormones in the blood which drive your appetite. Plus, getting less sleep will make you more hungry since there’s more energy being burned to keep your brain functioning than there is in supply.
#7) It Controls Inflammation
In men, heart disease, arthritis, strokes and even premature aging have been linked to inflammation. People who get less tan six hours of sleep a night have shown to have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins. By getting enough sleep, you can help balance these bad proteins and prevent future problems, especially in your 50s and 60s.
#8) Better Mood
A good night’s sleep will help decrease the tendency towards depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that by giving yourself a balanced sleep throughout the week, you will be able to collect certain neurotransmitters that will be dispersed throughout the week. Don’t wait for the weekend to start letting them build up.