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9 Reasons Why You Should Care About Sleep

Sleep can occupy one-third of our lives and it is indeed time that we can’t get back. Some individuals might argue that getting less sleep will allow you to get more done during the day, but the question becomes what is the quality of the day and how long of a life will you live. While sleep may be time we cannot get back it allows people to make sure that the time they have is high quality and can hopefully lead to a longer and more fruitful life.

Increased Athletic Performance

Sleep is your chance to help your body recover. It is when we enter parasympathetic state that focuses on mental recovery and tissue repair. If you have athletic goals this is important to make sure you are able to train with optimal performance the following day. Proper tissue repair will also help you avoid injuries. Sleep has the benefit of boosting your mood as well which is important for motivation when training. Proper sleep will set you up for athletic success. Play hard and rest hard.

Weight control

When we enter the relaxed state during sleep it helps us deal with stress. This prevents things like stress eating. The Parasympathetic (relaxed) state also is important for proper digestion of materials you consume. Sleep also helps control the release of the hormones that affect your appetite, leptin and gherlin. When lacking sleep your body decreases Leptin, the hormone that tells you when you’re full. A decrease in rest will increase the production of Ghrelin, the hormone that boosts your appetite. If you are ever a late night snacker these hormones could be the combo that leads to weight gain.

With proper sleep we can increase our athletic performance, mood and motivation increasing your desire to lose weight as well. While you may burn a few calories during sleep, it’s the benefits outside of it that set you up for successful weight control.

Heart Health

When you enter your sleep state you remove yourself from the stressed state. This stops the release of the hormone cortisol. One of the effects of cortisol is to increase your heart rate, thereby increasing your blood pressure. When this goes on long term it can lead to health issues like high blood pressure and even heart attacks.

Stronger Immune System

The proper sleep will ensure that the immune system cells and proteins get the rest they need to fight off invaders such as the cold, flu, and more. Sleep specialist Paruthi also says that proper rest can increase the effectiveness of vaccines. Paruthi said, “After getting a shot, people with sleep issues don’t develop the same antibody response as well-rested people, and that leaves them more susceptible.”

Sharper brain, increased productivity

Have you ever had a huge test in the morning, pulled a all nighter with the help of energy drinks, only to fall asleep during the test and fail anyway. This is because the brain recharges during your sleep cycle and has been linked to improve concentration and strengthen cognitive function. Next time you have a big test in the morning you are better off going to bed early than pulling a all nighter.

Improved Memory

When it comes to memory there are 3 functions: acquisition, consolidation, and recall. Acquisition is when you learn something new and consolidation is when the memory becomes stable in the brain. It is believed that acquisition and consolidation occur when you are awake but sleep is required for the recall phase. Recall is important because it is the ability to access the memory in the future. If you’re studying for a test micronaps can be great to make sure that you retain the information.

Improved Mood

Have you ever heard, “did you roll out on the wrong side of the bed?” Receiving enough sleep has a variety of benefits that can all contribute to a better mood. Sleep can decrease the hormone cortisol in your body which helps you feel less stress and anxious throughout the day. During your sleep cycle you recover your energy and help your body heal and reduce pain. Sleep increases your mental sharpness and processing power making your day much more productive and enjoyable.

Better sex life and testosterone in Men

Studies have shown that a decrease in sleep can correlate to a decrease in testosterone for men which affects their reproductive system. Things like decreased libido and sex drive and erectile dysfunction can follow. This is for the same reason stress effects the body. When you don’t acquire enough sleep you may be experiencing chronic stress and the hormone responsible cortisol may take its toll on the male reproductive system.

Make sure to get enough sleep can help decrease stress, improve your mood and give you the energy you need for a happier sex life.

Prevent Car Crashes

Sleep is important for both increasing your energy and mental alertness. In a recent study by “AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety,” they found that in regards to sleep in the past 24hrs that drivers who received 4 hours or less had an estimated 11.5 times the odds of being involved in a car crash compared to those receiving 7 hours or more in the past 24 hrs. Drivers who consistently sleep between 4-5 hours daily had an estimated 5.4 times the chance of contributing to a car crash than those who receive 7 hours or more.

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