Zzz's Zone

Never Snoozzze on the Benefits of Sleep!
There are MANY!! So...what are they?

 

Reduces Stress and Improves Mood!

Missing out on sleep can leave us feeling physically awful. That's not all! When we haven't slept enough, we can pay the price emotionally as well. At the very least, we wake up on the wrong side of the bed! We can become easily irritable and distressed. Therefore, a great way to boost our mood is to sleep well.

Reduces Inflammation!

Sleep loss triggers a heightened production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are proteins produced by cells and influence the way cells react together. They can help regulate inflammation, but become harmful if the pro-inflammatory cytokines are excessively produced. This occurs when we do not sleep enough, so we can counteract this with healthy sleep hygiene. 

Beneficial for Managing a Healthy Weight!

Sleeping well can serve as an excellent strategy to accompany a healthy diet plan. There are two important hormones involved. Ghrelin causes hunger and leptin indicates that we are full. During our resting period, the brain carries out many critical processes. One of these is regulating healthy ghrelin and leptin production. When we are missing much needed sleep, this balance is disturbed and ghrelin production increases. Another downside is we may begin to crave more sugar. This is like the body's way of making up for missing its rest period with unhealthy food intake.

Improves Memory and Learning Capacity! 

Something we should remember about sleep is how necessary it is for memory consolidation! This can occur during the slow wave and REM stages. One of the consequences of lacking sleep is brain fog. Confusion is another side effect. A tired brain is one with hindered efficiency. Sometimes there is a lot we need to learn within a limited amount of time, so we might be tempted to pull an all-nighter. Ironically, that's one of the least helpful things we can do to help retain information. It's a good idea not to put off sleep for a better ability to learn more.

Allows for Sharper Focus!

When tired, it's easy to feel distracted. Although it's quite easy to focus on how drained we're feeling, it's hard to say the same about our daily tasks. Concentration levels can take quite the hit due to sleep deprivation. Allowing the body and brain to be refreshed enables us to focus with clarity. 

Productivity Levels Increase Along with Creativity!

Treat yourself to sufficient sleep and watch as you soar in productivity! With great focus, you can achieve more with better results. Not everyone remembers dreams, but it might be a plus if you do. There are some who are inspired with creative works by their dreams. Even if you don't dream much, that great feeling after a good night's sleep can help spark creative ideas.  

Improves Exercise Performance!

Sleep strengthens exercise capacity and exercise benefits sleep. A well rested body is able to be more active, allowing us to get the most out of a workout. Help your body help you! You'll be grateful and feel refreshed! Exercise also helps by exerting energy, prolonging deep sleep at night. Thanks to the release of endorphins, exercise can also reduce the stress that may otherwise keep us awake at night.

Helps to Preserve Heart Health!

When we rest well, we can avoid high blood pressure which is exacerbated by insufficient sleep. This can also can lead to cardiovascular disease. Even missing only a couple hours of sleep at night can still negatively affect us. Daylight savings time provides insight on the effect of sleep loss. It has been reported that when clocks spring forward, there is an increase of heart attacks within the first few days! Amazingly, there is a decrease in heart attacks when clocks fall back.  

Boosts Immune System! 

Good sleep assists the production of T cells. T cells are a kind of white blood cell involved in removal of cancer cells as well as those infected by viruses. Without enough rest, the immune system becomes weaker. We can become sick more often and for longer periods. Have you noticed how tired you feel when you're sick? We become sleepy because our bodies require that down time to keep its systems in order and running smoothly. If we're deprived of that, the production of antibodies also decreases. 

Supports Brain Health!

The glymphatic system occurs during sleep to clear out toxins from the brain that build up during the day. If these toxins cannot be removed, they can contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. For example, excess buildup of amyloid beta forms plaques that can lead to Alzheimer's disease. There is a belief that mentally stimulating games keep our memory sharp, but sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy brain.

Allows for More Alertness and Faster Reflexes!

When we make harmful sleep behaviors a habit, it's no wonder we often feel sluggish. It's no fun having another day to get things done if tiredness causes productivity to drop. Aside from how amazing it feels to be well rested, there is another reason to take sleep more seriously. Sleep deprivation also causes slower reaction time, which can jeopardize safety. Being alert helps us get ready to move out of harm's way when we need to.

"Beauty Sleep" Is a Real Thing!

Is there a skin care routine you love to follow? Do you hope to achieve and maintain a youthful glow? If so, please don't forget to add sleep to your regimen! Sleep deprivation actually causes our bodies to age more quickly. Skin can also age prematurely and develop a greater disadvantage to sun exposure. When we sleep, cortisol levels drop. If we cannot get proper rest, cortisol levels stay high and can also cause breakouts. Our skin is able to regenerate as we sleep, so it earns a worthy place on our list of priorities. This bonus is shown in the ability for wounds to heal more quickly when we sleep well. 

 

Better Social Interaction And Relationships!

If we consider that our mood can suffer due to lack of sleep, it's understandable that we can make mistakes in social settings. In addition to possible irritability, inhibited capacity to notice social cues is another issue. We may struggle to perceive facial expressions or lash out in our tone. The negative impact in our mood can cause us to prefer being alone. Feeling rested helps us to enjoy the company of those we love. 

 

 These are some great benefits! We hope you are encouraged to get plenty of rest to enjoy a healthier life!