You may think that when you are asleep, your body is essentially switched off, like a computer powering down for the night. However, this is not the case. In fact, when you are sleeping, your body is actually restoring and repairing itself. Getting your full seven or eight hours sleep provides your body with the tune-up that it needs to run effectively. Here are four ways that sleep can help you to heal and boosts your wellbeing.
A fascinating study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that on average, people who were properly rested ate 300 calories fewer than those who didn’t get enough sleep. There may be a couple of reasons for this. There is evidence that not getting enough sleep can weaken your willpower, making it harder to resist that extra cookie. However, it can also lead to an imbalance in two important chemicals, ghrelin and leptin, which control how full or empty you feel. Lack of sleep leads to too little leptin (which tells you that you are full) and too much ghrelin (which promotes a feeling of emptiness and hunger).
Sharpens your mind
During the course of your day, your brain absorbs a tidal wave of information, from new routines to new words and images, and when you sleep, your brain sets to work sorting through the information, deciding what to keep and what to delete. Getting an early night can help you to learn new skills more quickly because your brain will have more time to sort through the information that you are trying to learn and store it as memory.
Refreshes your mood
Not getting enough sleep can make us cranky and set a negative tone for our day. However, by contrast, a good night’s sleep allows your mind and body to get a proper rest and build up energy for the next day’s demands. That’s why many people who struggle to sleep consider the benefits of a molecule mattress. However, even if you don’t choose a molecule mattress, it is important to try to give yourself a proper night’s sleep for the sake of your mental wellbeing.
Another important body process that takes place during sleep is physical healing and repair. During sleep, the brain triggers the production of hormones to promote tissue growth, which can help in the recovery from injuries, soreness and aches. Getting enough sleep also gives your body time to produce more white blood cells, which play a vital role in fighting off infection. That’s why people who don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to colds.
It can be difficult to get into the habit of getting enough sleep, particularly if you lead a busy lifestyle with many competing commitments. However, if you don’t give your body the chance to heal, you could suffer unwelcome physical and mental consequences. That’s why an effective sleep routine should be a priority for anyone who wants to improve their health.