It’s International Sleep Awareness week which means there’s no better time than to reflect and check in on our own sleep practices and habits. Sleeping is different for everyone but over half the people in the UK have issues with getting to bed. This means that most of us aren’t getting the sleep we need.
Sleep is a vital part of emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. And we all know that getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but we don’t always think about why that is. Here are a few amazing benefits that regular, quality sleep can offer you.
Sleep Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Lack of sleep increases the amount of stress hormones that are present in your body. The more stressed you are the less likely you are to have a good night’s sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation can even lead to increased vulnerability to mental health conditions like depression. Unfortunately, this often creates a cycle than can be really hard to break out of. Try to create a relaxing evening routine to help you wind down and switch off before you go to bed.
Sleep is Important for Keeping Alert
Sleep acts like a reset button and helps your brain retune and get ready for the next day. Not getting enough sleep means that your brain hasn’t had time to go through this process often leading to lower alertness, less concentration and impaired judgement. Driving whilst sleep deprived is almost as dangerous as drink driving. So, try to get the sleep you need and if do feel dangerously tired act responsibly.
Sleep Strengthens the Immune System
Healthy, regular sleep can help the body to fight off infections and recover from illness. Sleep helps your body to regenerate the cells needed to protect your body from various diseases and illnesses. Unfortunately, enough regular, poor-quality sleep (defined as less than five hours a night) can result in higher rates of both short- and long-term health conditions.
Sleeping Helps to Improve Memory
Pulling an all-nighter before an exam might seem like a great idea but getting a good nights sleep beforehand has been proven to be way more beneficial. Lack of sleep not only impairs your memory but also makes it difficult to learn new things. Sleep allows your mind to process the events from the day before, even working through problems whilst your body rests. So, skip that all-nighter and get a decent eight hours instead!
Sleep Boosts Your Energy Levels
This may seem like an obvious one, but sleep is great for boosting your energy levels! Sleep lets your body recover from whatever it’s been through the previous day, whether that’s a hard workout, exhausting exam or an emotional issue. Getting regular and good quality sleep is the most natural way to keep up your energy levels and restore your vitality.
Sleep is so important for a happy and healthy lifestyle, and we hope you’ve learnt a few reasons why that is. Being aware of the benefits of sleep can help you make an active effort to improve your sleep routine. What do you find sleep helps you with in your everyday life?