In today’s fast-paced society, sleep continues to be the last thing on our priority lists. We may focus on eating better or being more active, but high-quality snooze just doesn’t seem that beneficial. But, that’s where we are wrong! For inspiration to climb into bed early tonight check out what sleep does for you as shared by Shelby Freedman Harris, Psy.D., of YouBeauty.com:
It keeps you from making regretful decisions: when you don’t get enough sleep, your frontal lobe, the part of the brain associated with decision-making, really feels the impact. You’ll eat poorly, be less motivated to exercise, more encouraged to big ticket items and for adolescents, risky behavior is more likely to occur, including drugs, alcohol and sex.
It keeps you from stacking up on junk food and unwanted pounds: If you are looking to maintain or lose weight, having a great relationship with sleep makes a huge difference. A lack of sleep causes the body to release hormones that tell your body to eat, ghrelin, while cutting back on the production of leptin, which tells you when you are full. Your cravings will lean more toward sugars and carbohydrates.
It keeps you youthful: Sleep is essential to maintaining your looks. Studies show that sleep-deprived people are thought to be less attractive, less health and more tired. Cutting back on sleep reduces your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), meaning a slower metabolism, sagging skin, reduced muscle mass and more belly fat.
It keeps the doctor away: Consistently sleeping poorly is the perfect way to get sick. If there is a flu or cold going around your work place, you are more likely to catch it due to your weakened immune system. It might be best to avoid handshakes and wash your hands more frequently when you are low on shut-eye.
It helps you stay focused: Sleep does have a role in how well you perform at work and school. Your concentration, coordination, and attention all take a hit when you decide that Netflix is more important than climbing into bed on time, increasing your risk of being hurt on the job or on the road.
It keeps you happy: Skipping sleep makes you more anxious, irritable and depressed. Your overall quality of life decreases and you may lose enjoyment in some of your favorite activities.
Overall, sleep is essential to keeping you in optimal condition. Life is simply better with 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep, including weekends!