Three Benefits of Getting Adequate Sleep
It’s likely that you’ve felt the pain of struggling through the day after a night with little to no sleep. Unfortunately, it seems like our fast-paced society requires us to operate on less and less sleep. However, prioritizing your rest is one of the most important ways that you can support your overall wellness at every stage of your life. Here are three reasons to make sure you’re getting the shut eye that your body needs and deserves.
Sleep reduces stress and improves your mood
In addition to reducing stress hormones, sleeping nine hours per night has been shown to help people recover from negative emotions faster than those who didn't get enough rest. A good night’s sleep does more than keep your energy levels up; it also helps you recover from bad days faster, and keeps you in a good mood. "This is because sleep can restore emotional balance," according to psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, Aimee Daramus. "After a difficult day, sleeping nine hours allows your brain to process negative emotions and come out with a positive attitude."
Sleep makes you look younger
Sleep reduces the appearance of fine lines and improves your skin's elasticity. In fact, one recent study found that participants who slept 7 to 8 hours a night had 18 percent more skin-firming collagen than those that averaged only 5 hours of sleep per night. That means that those who get significant shut-eye have younger, more supple skin—not bad for the cost of getting sufficient rest.
Sleep helps you think better
Sleep is important to let your brain rest. Just by sleeping for a few hours, you can improve your attention span and memory. When you're asleep, your brain continues working to help you learn and remember information, so getting good sleep helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative. For example, a 2016 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania showed that just one night of insufficient sleep can impact your ability to focus the next day. You may have experienced this phenomenon firsthand the morning after a late night out: perhaps you've noticed yourself feeling more scatterbrained than usual or having difficulty focusing on work or school tasks. It could be time for a nap!
Tips for better sleep
Now that we’ve covered why sleep is important, let’s discuss some tips for better sleep.
Reduce your screen time before bed- removing or reducing artificial light from screens and other electronic devices gives your body the opportunity to let its natural sleep cycle begin.
Establish a nighttime routine- if you’re someone who has trouble winding down or falling asleep, establishing a routine can be helpful as it signals to your brain that it is time to prepare for sleep.
Aromatherapy- relaxing scents can be helpful when preparing for restful sleep.
White noise- eliminate audible distractions with a white noise machine or even just a fan.
At the end of the day (no pun intended). You'll be happier, healthier, and smarter if you focus on getting the right amount of sleep each night. It is a radical act to be intentional about rest in our rapidly moving world but please remember that you deserve to treat yourself well and sleep is a major part of that!