Why sleep is your best friend

What difference could an extra hour of sleep make in your life? Maybe quite a lot, experts say. Studies show that the gap between getting just enough sleep and getting too little sleep may affect your health, your mood and even your weight

Here are the reasons that you should shut down your computer, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.

Better health. Getting a good night’s sleep won’t grant you immunity from disease but there is a strong link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.

Less pain. If you have chronic pain — or acute pain from a recent injury — getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less.  Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Unfortunately, being in pain can make it hard to sleep.

Lower risk of injury. Sleeping enough might actually keep you safer. Sleep deprivation has been linked with a higher rate of accidents

Better mood. you have probably noticed that when you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to be cranky. That’s not all. Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation. When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to snap at your boss, or burst into tears, or start laughing uncontrollably.

 Better weight control. Getting enough sleep could help you maintain your weight — and conversely, sleep loss goes along with an increased risk of weight gain. Why? Part of the problem is behavioral. If you’re overtired, you might be less likely to have the energy to go for that jog or cook a healthy dinner after work.

The other part is physiological. The hormone leptin plays a key role in making you feel full. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. Result: people who are tired are just plain hungrier — and they seem to crave high-fat and high-calorie foods specifically.

Clearer thinking. Have you ever woken up after a bad night’s sleep, feeling fuzzy and easily confused, like your brain can’t get out of first gear?

Sleep loss affects how you think. It impairs your cognition, your attention, and your decision-making. Studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived are substantially worse at solving logic or math problems than when they’re well-rested

 

So get into bed early, and catch up on those sleep hours!

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