Are you getting enough sleep? In today’s fast-paced society, we are addicted to our devices. The average adult gets less than 6 hours of sleep a night! Sleep deprivation is a one-way-fast-track to shortened life expectancy.
If you are waking up racing to the kitchen for a cup of Joe, then you may be missing out on tons of sleep benefits.
Sleep Improves Memory
When we go to sleep our body is resting, right? While the body is repairing itself and flushing toxins. Your mind is hard at work.
Your brain is like a computer. Throughout the day you create files that save on the desktop. It can be hard to find what you are looking for when there are too many files. During the night your brain will take these files and organize them into folders. Making memories easier to access in the future.
This process is called consolidation. Consolidation acts like how we defragment our computer. Our brain will take short term memories –what we learned throughout the day—convert them into long term memory.
Throughout the night the brain will strengthen neurons that are frequently firing during the day. This process is called myelination. Myelination takes fatty tissue and wraps it around the neurons to make them more efficient.
The more you study a subject –let’s say calculous—the larger the myelination. Therefore, studying throughout the week will lead to longer retention time when compared to cramming the night before.
Sleep Reduces Inflammation
Sleeping is a mechanism for your body to heal and repair itself. When we think about inflammation you probably imagine a red swollen arm. Inflammation affects the insides of our body as well. Organs often become inflamed. The immune system uses this information as a signal to heal the areas where the body is under stress. When you catch a cold your body uses this same response to fight off viruses
Prolonged inflammation is damaging to the body. When you don’t get enough sleep your body will produce more cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. Chronic inflammation leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other illnesses.
To avoid exposing your body to elevated levels of cytokines. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep Increases Creativity
We often think that sleep is rest for the mind and body. During the night there are stages where our mind is more active than during the day. The mind becomes even more active at night when we learned something new throughout the day.
Sleep gives us incite. Allowing your mind time to process what you learned and practiced. Thus, improving creativity and problem-solving skills.
Sleep Increase Testosterone
Testosterone levels follow a circadian rhythm. Peaking in the morning and declines as the day moves forward.
Studies show that testosterone levels are closely linked to sleep. When comparing men that slept for 4 hours vs 8 hours. Guys that slept for 4 hours had 60% less testosterone than guys that had a full night of rest.
Improve Skin Health and Appearance
We often hear the term “beauty sleep.” Sleep allows your body to repair damaged organs. Guess what the largest organ in the body is? That’s right… the skin! A good night’s rest will reduce stress hormones causing acne and increase collagen production to maintain skin elasticity.
Although the amount of sleep each individual need varies. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maintain optimal health. Put away phones and bright screens an hour before bedtime to fall asleep faster.