Sleeping well is one of the secrets for your well-being that has been confirmed by science several times.
Find out what a good night’s sleep can bring in terms of well-being.
In the past people would go to bed at sunset and get up at sunrise. Our ancestors had no alarm clocks, they did not have neither a schedule to stick to, nor morning meetings to participate in. Their sleep rhythm was simply based on the natural day/night cycle, basically on the light.
Maintaining a healthy and regular sleep pattern is one of the (many) challenges of modern life. With our busy schedules, long working hours and smartphones always on, it may happen that we don’t get enough sleep.
Yet even though we all have a schedule to stick to, cutting back on your sleep hours is never a good idea. Sleep really has fabulous benefits, and getting enough sleep is vitally important for your overall health and well-being. Sleeping well doesn’t just serve to look good: it keeps you healthy.
Discover six benefits of sleep for your happiness and health.
1. Sleep makes you look good
Sleep is perhaps the closest thing to a fountain of youth. During deep sleep, the brain secretes a growth hormone responsible for cell renewal and repair of damaged tissue. This growth hormone is only released at night and can work miracles for your skin. The skin cells themselves go into repair mode when you sleep. Their metabolism accelerates and they regenerate faster than at any other time of the day.
In addition to these freshly renewed and healthy cells, sleep also has the effect of increasing blood flow to your skin, which is why your cheeks are warm and pink when you sleep. Lack of sleep can make the skin dull or chalky.
Thanks to a good night’s sleep you will look naturally throughout the following day.
2. Sleep strengthens the immune system
Researchers are only confirming what your mom has always told you: when you’re sick, the best thing to do is stay in bed and sleep as much as possible. Sleep helps fight the flu and other similar conditions, because the body produces disease-fighting proteins called cytokines when you sleep. If you’re sick often, maybe you’re not getting enough sleep. To strengthen your immune defences, try going to bed earlier or napping during the day.
3. Sleep helps solve problems
When faced with a dilemma, a good night’s sleep can help make the right decision. Researchers have observed that sleep helps solve problems creatively, because it provides access to the mass of knowledge and memories stored in your brain. At rest, your brain looks for associations that are not obvious when you are awake. This makes it possible to imagine creative solutions to solve the most difficult problems using information you didn’t even know you had.
4. Sleep reduces stress
Sleep and stress are back-feeding. Stress can cause a lack of sleep and lack of sleep can generate stress. It’s a vicious circle that can be hard to get out of. But by managing your sleep well, you learn to fight stress too. Better quality sleep helps your body and mind recover, but you’ll also be less sensitive to stress if you’ve slept well. All challenges are easier to face after at least 6 hours of good sleep!
5. Sleep helps to lose weight
If you’re looking to get back on your ideal weight, a good nap can be as effective as a workout. A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims that people who sleep well burn more calories during the day than people who don’t get enough sleep. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, sleep promotes weight loss, and another study in the journal Obesity shows that tired people tend to consume more caloric foods.
6. Sleep is good for your social relationships
Sleeping well is not only good for your physical and mental well-being, it is also a way to keep healthy relationships. Lack of sleep makes us more irritable, less patient, and with less energy to devote to others. It also impacts our capacity for empathy, and prevents us from being sensitive to the emotions of our loved ones. In short, we are much more pleasant for others when we are well rested. A nap may not solve all your relationship problems, but sometimes all that’s missing is a few hours of sleep.