We've all heard how important it is to get a good night's rest. But as is the case with setting and achieving health goals, having a true "why" behind your actions helps things stick and habits form. Getting good sleep is vitally important for all areas of health and wellness, and the reason(s) why might actually surprise you.
Learn the four main reasons why sleep is important below.
1. Sleep Helps Improve Brain Function
Our body's nervous system is a superhighway of sending and receiving signals that allow us to move our arms, transmit thoughts, speak, and do pretty much any other task. Sleep gives the body time to remove toxins and inflammation from the brain, helping to restore optimal function.
Those who don't get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from memory loss, as well as issues with their concentration and focus. Decreased brain function could affect your performance at work or even your safety and basic skills like driving, both of which could obviously impact your life dramatically.
Alternatively, when you get enough sleep—especially in the best sleep position to optimize restfulness—, neurons are able to fire faster and more efficiently. Your performance at work and when focusing on goals or pursuits will improve, helping you to get where you want in life much faster.
2. Sleep Reduces Disease Risk
Quality sleep and immune system function are very much intertwined, in both the short and long-term. According to the Sleep Foundation, you are at greater risk for infections if you sleep fewer than seven hours per night. The common cold, flu, and other types of seasonal illnesses are also much more likely to affect those who chronically under-sleep.
Long-term, under-slept people are also more likely to suffer from diseases such as:
- Neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Alzheimer's)
- Chronic pain
More and more, scientists are concluding that inflammation in the body, especially chronic inflammation that persists over time, is a leading cause of many of the diseases that kill Americans—often of the ailments listed above.
While inflammation is a natural human response the body makes to fight off things that might harm it. When your body persists in a chronic state of inflammation and inflammatory markers (such as certain brain enzymes) stay elevated, the body becomes more prone to disease. But when you get enough quality rest, these markers go down.
3. Sleep Helps Keep Emotions In Check
Sleep is also important for emotional regulation. Those who don't get enough sleep are more likely to react to stimuli, often in a negative or impulsive fashion. This could affect relationships in all areas of life, from your professional to personal life.
Those who get at least eight hours of sleep at night are less likely to be irritable throughout the day. On the other hand, sufferers of chronic sleep disorders are far, far more likely to develop various mood disorders, especially as they age.
Besides physical tissue diseases, poor mental health is also strongly associated with sleep quality. Those who don't get enough restorative sleep are more likely to be depressed or anxious.
4. Sleep Is a Good Tool for Weight Management
Interestingly, being overweight also increases your risk of suffering from pretty much any and all of the maladies mentioned above. It actually goes deeper than that, because sleep and a healthy body weight go hand in hand, too.
Those who get quality sleep are far more likely to maintain a healthy body weight, which gives you double fighting power. Your immune system is likely to be stronger when you are at a healthy weight, which can help ward off colds, flu, and diseases.
Simply put, the importance of sleep is holistic in nature. Your body will be exponentially healthier and you'll be in a better state of mind physically and mentally to capture the day and get the most out of your pursuits.
Learn more about the science of the Neck Nest sleep pillow and how it can optimize your sleep.