A Good Sleep Can Enhance the Life Span
Experts have revealed why good quality sleep is the number one resolution you should set and why it could lead to better concentration, a stronger memory and a longer life.
A recent Sleep Health Foundation of Australia study of 10,000 women found that those experiencing sleep difficulties were 10 times more likely to experience ongoing problems a decade later.
With this in mind, making sure you religiously clock eight hours of shut-eye each night has never been more important.
1. Sleep strengthens memory
Making sure you get to bed early won’t just make you feel better, as it can help to improve your memory too.
‘In a process called consolidation that takes place throughout the night, your brain works double time to practice and learn memory skills while you sleep,’ Jen told the publication.
This is why people often say it’s a good idea to get plenty of rest ahead of a big test or exam.
2. Sleep promotes healthy eating
If you’ve ever been exhausted and just inhaled an entire block of chocolate, then you’ll know that when you’re tired, you’re likely to eat more and badly.
Jen said this is because sleep and metabolism are intrinsically linked and driven by the same parts of the brain.
When you’re tired, the hormone that increases your appetite becomes more active, leading you to crave sweets, chocolate and fried food.
Aim for an extra 30 minutes to one hour of sleep per night and watch your waistline shrink.
Sleep can help to stop you from getting sick, because it fortifies our immune system, producing protein molecules that aid us in the fight against infections and colds (stock image)
3. Sleep reduces inflammation
While you might not expect it, Jen said studies have shown that adults who sleep less than 6-8 hours per night are prone to increased inflammation.
‘Sleep helps to restore, combat and curb inflammation of the body – which is directly related to heart disease, diabetes and premature ageing,’ she said.
If you’ve ever heard of beauty sleep, she reminded why it is a real thing.
Without it, you will look haggard and unwell – both on the inside and out.
4. Sleep helps you live longer
Some think it’s a myth, but because research dictates that those who do sleep more are less likely to run into health problems down the track – and this can lead to a longer life.
If you think you’re falling short on shut-eye, you could try a sleep-tracking app to see just how much you’re getting.
5. Sleep improves concentration and productivity
If you’re looking to be more focused and productive in the office in 2020, you could do worse than look to your sleep.
‘Sleep deprivation impairs cognition, exacerbates concentration, shortens attention span and slows our reflexes,’ Jen said.
On the flip side, a good amount of sleep can make you more alert and better at getting things done.
6. Sleep fortifies your immune system
When you’re run down, it’s often because you haven’t been getting enough sleep.
This is because sleep fortifies our immune system, producing protein molecules that aid us in the fight against infections and colds.
Establish a good bedtime routine to allow yourself time to wind down before you turn the light out.
7. Sleep improves mood
Jen highlighted ‘countless studies’ that have shown the link between sleeplessness and depression – and said that ‘improved sleep patterns can help to alleviate symptoms of mental ill health’.
8. Sleep improves your life quality
Lastly, good sleep can work wonders at improving the overall quality of your life.
When you sleep well, Jen said you can interact better, you’re more productive and you perform better in both a personal and a professional setting.
‘A good night’s sleep should allow us to experience at least 4-5 sleep cycles -consisting of deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) during which we dream,’ she said.
In order to get these 4-5 cycles, you definitely need to make sure you get between six and eight hours.