We’re often told that ‘every thing will seem better in the morning after a good night’s sleep’ after receiving some bad news, but there may be some truth in this theory. At least 6-8 hours of sleep a night can have a positive impact on your well-being. Generally the way you feel when you get up in the morning is strongly related to the quality of sleep you had the night before.
The benefits of a restful sleep extends far beyond making you feel great, it can mean major advantages for your mind and body. As well as looking at your diet and fitness, your quality of sleep should also be considered when pursing a healthier lifestyle because of these amazing benefits:
Boost your metabolism
Research has shown that a lack of sleep may make you gain weight due to a reduced metabolism rate. The area in the brain that controls sleep and metabolism in your body is the same. Many people find that when they go to bed early they eat less compared to when they stay up late.
Improved levels of concentration
It goes without saying that generally we feel well rested after a wonderful slumber and so do our brains. A terrible night’s sleep can leave you struggling throughout the day and make it difficult to concentrate. Getting a serious night’s sleep rejuvenates your brain leaving you feeling ready to start the day.
Reduced risk of illness
Believe it or not, sleeping well can actually improve the way your body protects itself against infections. Research has shown that people who get more hours sleep a night have a lower risk of catching a cold.
Those athletes among us will already know that getting the greatest amount of sleep can improve your performance levels and endurance. My mum always used to tell me to get a good night’s sleep before an exam and the same can be suggested for any upcoming races or sporting events.
Studies have shown that those who get very little sleep, less than 6 hours a night, have higher levels of inflammatory blood proteins in their system. Inflammatory proteins in the blood have been associated with heart disease, stroke and premature ageing.
Lower stress levels
Sleep can reduce stress levels and you feel better prepared to deal with stressful situations because you are more in control and alert. Stress levels are heavily linked to blood pressure. Getting a good night’s sleep lowers your stress levels and helps to maintain a steady blood pressure.
Inevitably life with a newborn is testing my sleeping patterns at the moment, but I’m making sure that I’m getting to bed at a reasonable hour and trying to take a nap during the day when I can to mitigate the impact of those night feeds. I do feel much after a good night’s sleep compared to my current zombie like state that has become the norm most days. Even with my current erratic sleeping patterns I’m still hoping that I’m reaping some of these health benefits.
How many hours of sleep do you roughly get a night? Do you handle having very little sleep well or so you struggle throughout the day?
Have you noticed any health benefits related to getting a good night’s sleep?
*in association with Carpetright, but all content and opinions are my own