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Today we’re going to talk about the importance of sleep and the 10 scientific health benefits of sleep.
We’re also going to finish with some proven sleeping tips that will ensure you get a full night’s rest and make sure you get the right amount.
8 health benefits of sleep:
1. Not getting enough sleep is linked to fat
2. Getting the right amount of sleep improves your hormones
3. Good sleep Improves your immune system
Another health benefit of sleep is helping you fight off being sick. In a recent study, people who sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3x more likely to develop a cold than those sleeping 8 hours or more.
4. Sleep Helps to Improve Learning
In a Swiss University study two groups were introduced to a new language, one right before bed and one during the daytime. The one’s who slept immediately after leaning new material learned the language quicker than those learning in the day time.
So studying before bed seems to be a good idea.
5. Sleep lowers the risk of developing depression
In a study of twins researchers found that short sleep increased the genetic risk of developing depression.
In fact, it has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression also suffer from some from of sleep apnea.
6. People who get more sleep naturally eat less
When you don’t get enough sleep, the fluctuations of hormones cause greater cravings and worse appetite control.
So if you’re someone who’s trying to lose weight but just can’t stay away from the late night snacks, getting more sleep is something that can probably help.
7. Sleep helps us empathize with others
Another strange health benefit of sleep is a better understanding of social cues.
One study found that those who are sleep deprived lose the ability to properly recognize expressions of anger and happiness in the faces of others.
8. Sleep improves athletic performance
In a study of basketball players, a better night’s rest improved the players reaction times, speed, and, accuracy.
In another study of over 2800 women, lack of sleep made them more sluggish and made it difficult to perform tasks that required coordination.
Now that we’ve discussed the health benefits of sleep, lets talk about how to get a better nights rest.
Here are 5 Sleeping Tips everyone needs to know
Sleeping tip #1. Use Black out curtains and duct tape to black out your room
Melatonin, also know as the sleep hormone, is raised when the sun goes down to indicate to our bodies that it’s time to rest.
The problem is street lights, outlets, and all sorts of other unnatural lights confuse this hormone and trick it into thinking it’s still daytime.
Do a complete blackout of your room and you will notice a BIG difference in both quality of sleep and ability to get to sleep.
Also, computer screens and phone screens confuse melatonin as well. There are nighttime modes on these devices, but it’s always best to just not use them 1 hour before bedtime.
Sleeping tip #2. Have A Routine
Humans are habitual creatures and creating a systematic routine will improve sleep.
Something as simple as brushing your teeth, reading a book for 15 minutes and immediately going to bed is a habit you can build to make your sleep almost automatic at night.
Sleeping tip #3. Use Your Bed for Nothing but Sleep and the occasional… physical activity.
Goes with the habit thing, but the moment you hit the bed you want the body to recognize that it’s time to fall asleep.
So try not to work on your bed or spend anytime on it when you’re not resting.
Sleeping tip #4. Use a pillow between or underneath your legs.
This will help to maintain the alignment of your back and improve your posture over time.
It will also help those of you suffering with lower back pain.
There is not perfect way to sleep, but on your back is probably best as it helps to maintain the alignment of your neck and spine.
Sleeping tip #5. Napping is great.
A short 20-30 minute nap lowers cortisol levels and is very healthy for the body.
So bring back a little bit of your childhood and do a quick cat nap if feeling tired mid day!
Our last point is that the right amount of time for optimal sleep benefits is 7-9 hours per night.
No less than 7 and no more than 9 is the perfect amount.