As plenty of research shows, there is simply no replacing the value of a good night’s sleep. Over the past 10 years, researchers and scientists have made plenty of critical discoveries regarding how important sleep is to our health and overall well-being.
Check some of the biggest discoveries that have made headlines in the sleep community in the last decade shared by The Huffington Post:
1. Your brain never sleeps: As you sleep, your brain is putting in a lot of hard work as it processes complex information, creates new memories, solidifies old new memories and helps you prepare for future actions. Other studies have shown that your brain also takes this time to clean out damaging toxins that could increase your risk of dementia later in life.
2. Quality sleep is critical for good health: Scientists have revealed that chronic sleep loss is linked to several serious health conditions, including diabetes, stroke, depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease, mortality and even some forms of cancer.
3. Early birds get the worm: The truth isn’t too far from that expression. According to research, being a morning person brings many benefits for cognitive functioning and overall health. Morning people tend experience more optimistic feelings and have a greater overall well-being, including being more motivated and maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Smartphones and sleep don’t mix: Unfortunately, your favorite electronics emit blue light, which hinders the production of our hormone melatonin, leading to later bedtimes and poor sleep quality.
5. Your thinking can’t be trusted without sleep: Making decisions on low sleep can lead to disastrous results. Research tells us that chronic sleep loss negativity impacts your decision-making abilities and judgment, as you expect immediate gains and underestimate the possibility of losses.
6. Shift work hurts sleep and health: Rotating, overnight and non-traditional work shifts have been making headlines for the risk they pose to overall health as they disrupt natural sleep patterns, including diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity. Even “shift work sleep disorder” is being recognized as a serious medical condition.
7. Your brain’s biological clock can be “reset”: Your brain contains a biological clock that controls on your 24-hour rhythms of sleeping, waking, eating and many more important activities. Recently, neuroscientists at Vanderbilt University have discovered a way to manipulate it, paving the way for effective treatments for jet lag, seasonal affective disorder and the harm of shift work.
Sleep is considered by many to be the third pillar of health, along with diet and exercise. Make the most of your life by making the most out of 7-9 hours of refreshing shut-eye each night!