Many of us live a life on the go. There’s projects to be done, deadlines to be met and places to be seen. Most of us are like phones with a battery; we use them until the battery is at 1% and then we rush to find an outlet and let them re-charge. It’s incredibly rare to see someone dedicate time to get the recommended amount of sleep or have a regular sleep pattern. Sleep is that one thing that we feel we can put off, because there will always be another night to make up for all the ones before. “You’ll sleep when you’re dead” is the saying I’ve heard from my friends when I was trying to go to sleep early.
However, little do we realize that sleep can affect us in countless ways. Without sleep, we cannot survive or exist. Koalas for example, sleep about 22 hours a day! Sleep – along side with food, is the force that preserves life. According to the sleep foundation, adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep. But due to our lack of concern about our sleep, we mess up our sleeping patterns and we often don’t even get the minimum amount of sleep required. But if you do, here’s 7 ways of how a good sleep can impact your life.
1. You Will Remember and Perform Better
During a process called “consolidation“, sleep enables you to organize and even practice newly learned skills and memories. This can lead to an enhance performance on the tasks that you have ahead. So whether you are trying to learn chess, or study for an exam, sufficient sleep will improve your memory and enhance your performance.
2. You Will Be Happier
Better sleep can make you awaken happier and ready to take on the day’s challenges. In a study, researchers found that pre-schoolers who slept less than 10 hours were about 25% more likely to misbehave. It’s no wonder that people say “Sleep it off” to one another after a stressful situation. Sleep can put your mind at ease, decrease your stress and make you happier and clear minded.
3. You Will Weigh Less
During a good night sleep your body produces more leptin, a hormone which makes you feel fuller. And it also decreases the production of ghrelin, which has the complete opposite effect on your body. Through good sleep, you will be able to make healthier choices in your diet without craving high carb and high sugar foods. This is a little known fact in many diets.
4. You Will Be More Creative
Sleep helps you to organize your memories and help you learn tasks better, which in turn can spur some creativity in you! Harvard researchers found that sleep may strengthen your emotional components, which could make you more creative. Not to mention the fact, that it’s always easier to be more creative and productive when you are not feeling deprived of sleep or hungry.
5. You Will Win More
Whether you are competing on a team or just trying to achieve something in life, sleep will help you do it. A Standford university research team, found that when basketball players slept 10 hours or more during a period of 5 to 7 weeks, they improved their shooting skills by 9.5% and their sprint time decreased as well. You don’t need to be a college level athlete to make use of the benefits of sleep. Maybe you don’t need to score 30 points for your team, but finish that big project or speak at a big meeting.
6. You Will Have More Focus
Whether you are trying to make better decisions at work, school, relationships or your life, get some sleep before hand. Studies show that more sleep can result in you being more attentive, less impulsive and hyperactive. This will improve your focus and let you concentrate on what is most important to you. In other words, less cute cats videos on YouTube and more work!
7. You Will Live Longer and Feel Healthier
Sleep certainly has a direct connection to your health. During sleep, your blood pressure and heart rate are the lowest. People who sleep less usually have higher blood pressures. There are links between sleep deprivation and heart attacks, diabetes and weight gain. So if you are getting plenty of sleep, you will have less health problems. In turn, you will have a longer and healthier life.
There you have it, more reasons to hit the snooze button. But don’t miss work, just try giving sleep some kind of priority in your life. Your grades, diet, relationship, health and many others things will improve as a result. During my time spent researching sleep effects on people I found many more interesting affects, but there’s honestly too many to list. It’s simple, you love sleep, so get more of it! If your friends are always buggin’ you about trying to get some sleep instead of doing something, just share this with them and get some ear plugs.