Five Reasons To Sleep Your Way To Good Health
We all know the knock-on effects from lack of sleep – tired, lethargic, loss of concentration, too little energy. It goes without saying that getting a solid seven hours a night is one of the foundations of good health. However, do you know what the actual health benefits from good sleep are? Well, some of them might just surprise you…
Poor sleep has been linked to weight gain
Research suggests that poor sleep quality has been linked to weight gain. Although the extent of this is still being investigated, it’s a pretty good reason to make sure you’re getting enough shut eye.
It improves your immune function
We get it – you’re busy, you have a lot on your plate, you simply can’t afford to be sick. Well, make sure you’re catching enough zzzzz. One study found that, after exposing participants to a virus, those who slept less than seven hours were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight hours or more. Where’s the duvet?
It can brighten your mood
Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. It has been estimated that 60-90% of patients with depression have insomnia. It’s no secret that sleep is good for your mental health. It can also improve your concentration and memory. That’s a lot of good reasons to love it.
It can help you live longer
Too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan, although it’s not clear why. One study on twins showed that people who slept less than seven hours a night had an increased risk of death by up to 26%. Interestingly, it also revealed that those who slept more than eight hours a night also had a shorter life expectancy. The optimum time? Seven to eight hours a night.
You’ll have better relationships
The 2010 Sleep in America poll revealed that 20-30% of respondents reported that their family or sex life had been impacted by sleepiness or a sleep problem. So essentially, if you get between the sheets, you can improve your life between the sheets.
As the saying (sort of) goes, early to bed, early to rise, makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise. So, put on your PJs, grab a mug of camomile tea and get some shut eye.
- Magee L, Hale L. Longitudinal associations between sleep duration and subsequent weight gain: a systematic review [published correction appears in Sleep Med Rev. 2012 Oct;16(5):491]. Sleep Med Rev. 2012;16(3):231-241. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2011.05.005
- Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB. Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62-67. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.505
- Alhola P, Polo-Kantola P. Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2007;3(5):553-567.
- Hublin C, Partinen M, Koskenvuo M, Kaprio J. Sleep and mortality: a population-based 22-year follow-up study. Sleep. 2007;30(10):1245-1253. doi:10.1093/sleep/30.10.1245
- National Sleep Foundation. Sleep In America Poll 2010: Sleep and Ethnicity