1.) Improve memory
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).
2.) Curb inflammation
Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
3.) Spur creativity
Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper. In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
4.) Improving Athletic Abilities
If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep. A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.
5.) Have a healthy weight
If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
6.) Lower stress
When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same—and both can affect cardiovascular health. “Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.”
7.) Steer clear of depression
Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.
“A lack of sleep can contribute to depression,” Dr. Jean says. “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.”
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