No matter where you are from, there is no question that getting a solid amount of rest each day is beneficial to your health. Many, however, do not realize just how much sleep affects their overall health and well-being and in a world that demands long hours and a busy lifestyle it can be hard to find time to get the necessary rest. But before you shun a good night’s sleep take a moment to learn some of the potential benefits it has to offer.
• Reduction of cancer risk. When you get enough sleep the hormone melatonin can stay in normal ranges helping you prevent the cell damage that can lead to cancer and potentially suppressing the growth of tumors.
• Improves brainpower. Those who get a full night’s sleep are much more likely to perform well on tasks that require memory, creativity and problem-solving than those who haven’t slept well.
• Keeps your heart healthy. Lack of sleep has been associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol, big risk factors for a heart attack. Get a healthy amount of sleep each night to help your heart stay strong.
• Reduces stress. If you don’t get enough sleep your body may move into distress mode, increasing your risk of health problems like stroke and heart attack and making you more vulnerable to illnesses of all kinds.
• Allows the body to make repairs. Your body needs the downtime provided by sleep to repair damage that has been done by stress, the sun and harmful substances in your environment.
• Reduces depression. Those who get a solid night’s sleep are at a much lower risk of depression than those who do not. Sleep affects the body’s production of serotonin, one of the chemicals that if produced in deficient amounts can lead to depression.
• Boosts memory. Studying before you get a good night’s rest may be beneficial, as research has suggested that this helps improve memory retention and will have you feeling better for your meeting, test or speech the next day.
There are more than a few reasons you shouldn’t be neglecting to get enough rest and there’s never a better time to start preparing to sleep better than now.
This post was contributed by Kathleen Baker, who writes about nursing schools.