The Benefits of Sleep


Sleep might seem like a waste of time when you’re feeling stressed or exhausted, but getting a full night of rest can help your body, mind and emotions feel refreshed. It might also help you keep your weight in check, prevent a number of health issues, and improve your mood. In fact, the benefits of sleeping are so important that there is a whole field of medicine called sleep medicine.

Scientists are learning more and more about sleep, including how it helps the body and brain function properly. There are many factors that can influence your sleep, such as stress, eating habits, medications, caffeine intake, light exposure and your general daily routine. But scientists also know that there is a complex system of biological processes that manages sleep-wake homeostasis and the circadian alerting systems, which are controlled by certain parts of your brain.

As you slumber, your body gets to work to heal and repair itself. Your muscles are repaired, your blood sugar levels are regulated, hormones are released and memories are formed. It’s no wonder that people who miss out on quality sleep are at a greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and obesity.

You may have heard the saying, “You can catch up on your sleep in bed.” While there’s some truth to this, getting enough quality sleep is essential for your physical and mental health.

A lack of sleep has been linked to chronic (long-term) health problems, such as high blood pressure and depression. It can also affect how well you think, react, learn, and get along with others.

Sleep also contributes to a healthy immune system, which protects your body from infection and illness. It helps your cells and proteins stay in top shape to fight off germs and bacteria, as well as to remember foreign invaders like the common cold, so they can be better prepared to recognize and fight them when you come across them again.

If you’re worried about the amount of sleep you’re getting, talk to your doctor. They can offer advice on how to get more quality sleep, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and relaxing before going to bed. They might recommend adjusting your daily routine, trying new sleeping positions or using certain sleep aids to help you relax. They might also suggest talking to a counselor or taking medication, if necessary.