Rest easy with these surprising ways that catching enough Zzzs can improve your health.
An extra hour or two of sleep at night might not sound like much, but it can make a significant difference for your health and well-being. If you tend to get less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night, here are a few reasons to try and catch a few extra Zzzs tonight:
- Helps to regulate your weight
- Lowers your risk of heart disease
- Improves mental health
- Helps you focus and think clearly
- Boosts your immune system
- Promotes longevity
Keep reading to learn more about each of these health benefits of sleep.
1. Helps to regulate your weight
Adequate sleep may help you maintain a healthy weight. In a study of sleeping habits among nurses, those who slept five or fewer hours each night were 15% more likely to experience weight gain than those who slept at least seven hours. Other research links shorter periods of sleep to an 89% increase in the likelihood of obesity among adults.
2. Lowers your risk of heart disease
Although getting a good night’s sleep won’t make you invincible, it can help lower your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Along with exercise and a healthy diet, sleep may be the final piece to complete your heart health trifecta.
Check out this list of heart-healthy foods you’ll love.
3. Improves mental health
Your mental health can also benefit from enough hours of snoozing. When you get your recommended dose of sleep, your brain is better able to balance mood-regulating chemicals that can cause depression if they fall out of line.
Discover more ways to improve your mental health here.
4. Helps you focus and think clearly
A good night’s sleep can affect the way you think throughout the day. If you’ve ever felt a little cloudy during the day, it could be your brain’s way of telling you that it needs more rest. With a clear head, you can enjoy better focus, memory, and decision-making.
5. Boosts your immune system
Catching enough Zzzs may also give your immune system a boost. Strong immunity can shield you from catching colds, bugs, and flu. According to one study, participants who slept at least eight hours were almost three times less likely to get sick than those who slept fewer hours.
Read more about the effects of sleep on your immune health here.
6. Promotes longevity
Studies have found that people who get a full night of rest tend to live longer, healthier lives. With sleep impacting many aspects of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, getting your fair share can help you feel your best every day.
Having trouble falling asleep at night? Review these tips for getting a better night’s rest.
These health benefits of sleep go to show that shutting down for a full night of rest can do wonders for your body and mind. For more advice on living your happiest and healthiest life, check out our health and wellness blog.