So you know by now that we're already pretty head over heels for a good night's rest. But just what is it that makes us love it so much? We think we could probably go on for days... but for now, we've compiled a list of the Top 10 Benefits Of Sleep to help you fall in love with it as much as we are!
1. It's Good For Your Skin
Have you heard the term "Beauty Sleep" used before? Well, we're here to tell you that it's a totally real concept.
As you sleep, your skin’s collagen production increases, plumping cells and helping your skin’s lipids - the protective barrier found in the outermost layer - retain moisture, a key part of avoiding dryness. Most simply, hydrated skin remains firm and intact, reducing the appearance of fine lines and leaving you with a healthy-looking complexion that’s smooth and soft to the touch.
In a nut shell? A good night's rest will leave you looking better than any Sephora moisturiser could.
2. It Can Help You Lose Weight
A goodnight's sleep actually has the ability to change our cells. Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body's ability to properly use insulin becomes completely disrupted. When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage.
When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. And this is exactly how you might become overweight and suffer from diseases like diabetes.
A good diet and exercise are obviously the key components to staying healthy - but it's important to note that a bad night's rest certainly isn't a best friend to weight loss.
3. It Can Relieve Your Anxiety
Research shows that sleep and anxiety are very intimately connected: the less sleep you get, the more anxious you feel. The more anxious you feel, the less sleep you get. It’s a cycle many insomnia and anxiety sufferers find hard to break. Findings also showed that brain activity after periods of sleep deprivation mirrors brain activity indicative of anxiety disorders. The amygdala - the seat of the brain’s fight or flight response - is particularly hard to switch off when we haven't had enough rest.
4. It's Good For Your Immunity
Another one to remember for your health! Remember, most adults need a minimum of seven hours sleep every night for improved health and well-being. Inside the body, chronically bad sleep can cause problems. Poor sleep can increase inflammation, blood pressure, insulin resistance, cortisol, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease, as well as decrease blood sugar regulation.
5. It Makes You More Productive At Work
This one's pretty obvious, but if you get a bad night's sleep, there's probably only a slim chance you'll be your most productive self in the office.
Recent research has shown fatigue at work can lead to poor judgment, lack of self-control, and impaired creativity - and no matter what it is you're doing to bring home the bacon, that's kind of a recipe for disaster.
6. It's Good For Your Oral Health
This one might surprise you! Research on oral health and sleep has shown that they actually share a closer relationship than you think.
A lot of it has to do with your quality of sleep and the way we breathe through our mouths while we're snoozing - for example, if you mouth breathe when you're asleep, this stimulates the Central Nervous system to go into fight or flight (Sympathetic) mode rather than calm healing (Parasympathetic) mode like nose breathers.
7. It's Good For Your Menstrual Cycle
During our period, there are a number of reasons we might not be getting the quality sleep we need. Our hormone levels typically drop right before we start menstruating which can leave us anxious and affect our moods, not a good recipe for relaxing into a good nights’ sleep. Beyond our hormones, the physical effects many of us feel during our periods, such as cramps and headaches, can be difficult to sleep with. A good night's rest can alleviate symptoms of all of the above, and help improve the overall health of our cycles.
8. It Improves Your Circadian Rhythm
Just what is a circadian rhythm, you ask, and why is it so important?
Circadian rhythms are biological processes that occur in a daily cycle. Those rhythms include anything from photosynthesis in plants to mating behaviors in moths. No matter which organism they’re found in, however, they’re all driven by a circadian clock. This clock heavily influences practically all of our circadian rhythms and helps keep them all in sync.
Basically, our Circadian Rhythm is what regulates our day to day life - If we didn’t have circadian rhythms, our lives would be very unpredictable!
9. It Improves Your Gut Health
Althought it's early days, recent research suggests that there is a two-way relationship between healthy microbes and healthy sleep. What this means is that healthy gut microbes could address the negative effect of insufficient sleep, and this could be the basis for a revolutionary approach to treating obesity!
10. It Makes You Happier!
No research required - this one's a no brainer. A good night's sleep can put a spring in your step, a smile on your face and a warm, rejuvenated feeling inside of you, which is why we're such huge advocates for it!
If you need help reaping the benefits of a good night's sleep, try our Sleep Kits. They're tailored for a range of sleep issues and are personalised to you!