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10 Health Benefits of Sleep

Posted on 01 October 2014

We all love a good night sleep!

Sleep, we all love it! There is no better feeling than waking up from a great night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is one of life’s real pleasures. Sleeps makes you feel better, but its importance goes much further than that.

 

We spend 33% of our lives sleeping but most of us barely give a moment’s notice to how important sleep is. In the past, sleep was often ignored by doctors, and surrounded by myths.

 

"Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning," says David Rapoport, M.D., director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Center. 

 

Not anymore. We are now beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

 

10 health benefits of sleep

Here are 10 health benefits that researchers have discovered will come from a good night’s sleep.

 

  1. Sleep boosts your immune system – Sleep plays an important role in your physical health and your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. A good night’s sleep won’t grant you immunity from disease but several studies have found that prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system and the way it responds. A study in 2009, conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, found that sleeping for fewer than seven hours a night increased the risk of catching a cold.
  2. Sleep improves your memory – Your brain is surprisingly busy during sleep and it goes through your impressions of the day in a process vital for memory formation. This process, called consolidation, is essential for the brain. In addition, sleep helps your brain to form new pathways so you can learn and remember information.
  3. Sleep helps to keep your figure – Lack of sleep can make you pile on the pounds by drastically slowing down your metabolism. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a night are 30% more likely to be overweight. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat - 56% of their weight loss – than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. Dieters in the study also felt hungrier when they got less sleep. This can be explained by the fact that sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.
  4. Sleep boosts your sex drive – Research shows that men and women who do not get enough quality sleep have lower libido and less of an interest in having sex. Also, men tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can further lower libido.
  5. Sleep boosts your fertility – Sleep plays an important role in fertility. Sleep deprivation can impair fertility by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones – in both men and women – causing potential difficulties in conceiving a baby.
  6. Sleep helps you to live longer – Regularly sleeping less than you should is associated with a shorter lifespan – although it is not clear whether it is a cause or an effect of other illnesses induced by the lack of sleep. Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City says: "Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep. If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear."
  7. Sleep prevents diabetes – Sleep affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose.
  8. Sleep supports healthy growth and development – Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.
  9. Sleep helps your mood and your mental well-being – It is well documented that sleep loss can adversely affect our mood. We have all experienced how irritable and short-tempered we become because of lack of sleep or a bad night’s sleep. It won’t be coming as a surprise that chronic sleep deficiency might lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. A growing body of medical evidence links inadequate sleep with anger, anxiety, and sadness. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that when study subjects were only allowed to sleep 4.5 hours a night for one week, they reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted, with overall scores for mood and vigour declining steadily during the test period. When the subjects were allowed to get enough sleep, their mood scores improved dramatically {source: sleepfoundation.org}. Children and teens who suffer from sleep deficiency may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation
  10. Sleep keeps your heart healthy – Sleep plays an important role in repairing and healing your heart and blood vessels. A growing amount of evidence shows a relationship between long and short-term sleep loss and cardiovascular disease, including increased blood pressure and increased risk of stroke in addition to other long-term health consequences.

 

How much do we need to sleep to reap the benefits provided by quality sleep? And what is sleeping too little or sleeping too much? We will explore this topic in our next blog post “How much sleep do we need” as part of this series of posts about sleep.

 

How can far infrared clothing help?

The fabric used to make the ABSOLUTE 360 garments absorbs infrared radiation emitted by the human body and re-emits the absorbed radiation as FIR waves, which interact with the human body, promoting body stimulation. This stimulation leads to several benefits including a more restful sleep. FIR waves have a profoundly relaxing effect on the body, helping to enhance sleep.

 

For a complete list of the benefits that you can experience from wearing FIR clothing click here.

 

If you want to get rid of stress, sleep better, awaken truly refreshed and increase your daily energy and mental clarity make far infrared clothing a lifestyle choice. Start your “wellness” journey today…

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