Health Benefits From Getting Enough Sleep
Besides chiropractic care to help improve your health and wellness, there are an infinite number of things you can do to help improve your day-to-day health. To prove that not all health improvement requires extra effort, we put together a list of health benefits you’ll get from adding some extra zzz’s to your sleep schedule.
- Improve memory: During sleep, your brain can strengthen memories or “practice” skills that you have learned while awake in a process called consolidation. The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleep actually triggers changes in the brain that solidify memories; strengthening connections between brain cells.
- Live longer: A study carried out by Dr. Francesco Cappuccio and colleagues from the University of Warwick and University of Naples Medical School found that if you sleep less than 6 hours at night, you are 12% more likely to die prematurely than if you sleep more. However, the study ALSO found that your risk of dying prematurely jumps from 12% to 30% if you sleep for 9 or more hours per night. So find your sweet spot between 6-9 hours of daily sleep to reap the benefits.
- Reduce Inflammation: Research has indicated that people who don’t get as much sleep (6 hours or less per night) have more inflammation than those who sleep more. A study by Dr. Rapoport says that C-Reactive Proteins, which are associated with heart disease, can be found in higher quantities in people who sleep less than 6 hours a night on average.
- Increase creativity: Along with consolidation, or making memories or skills stronger while you sleep, your brain can also reorganize and restructures them. This has been shown to increase creativity levels. Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help stimulate their creative processes.
- Improve your athleticism: For the athlete, getting extra sleep can reap many benefits. Improved reaction times, reduced injury rates, elongated playing careers, faster and more accurate times, and fewer mental errors have all been correlated with getting sufficient sleep.
- Fewer problems with attention and learning: Children who sleep less due to sleep disorders struggle with attention and learning, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep, The Official Journal of Sleep Society, Oxford. In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.”If you’re trying to meet a deadline, you’re willing to sacrifice sleep,” Dr. Rapoport says, “but it’s severe and reoccurring sleep deprivation clearly impairs learning.”
- Heightened attention: While a lot of sleep deprivation symptoms may not be noticeable, shortened attention span is immediately affected and can cause trouble with daily activities. Sleeping an appropriate amount at night can improve your attention, therefore, improving your output; whether it is school work or taxes.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived and lost more muscle mass. In addition to burning off the right stuff, sleeping also helps boost your metabolism and drive appetite hormones down.
- Reduce Stress: Sleep has been known to significantly decrease levels of stress, in turn, helping sufferers to better manage their blood pressure. The American Psychological Association noted that Research has shown that most Americans would be happier, healthier and safer if they were to sleep an extra 60 to 90 minutes per night.
- Lower chances of automobile accidents: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number (more than alcohol) of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance. An insufficient night of sleep could be as dangerous as drinking a six-pack of beers before your daily commute.
So now that you know some benefits that come with hitting the snooze button, figure out how you can interpret this information into your day-to-day life! Remember, a healthy lifestyle requires consistent effort in many areas so make sure you also drink plenty of water and consume the appropriate nutrients for your body.