10 Reasons Sleep Is Important
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Health and Wellness

10 Reasons Getting Enough Sleep Is Extremely Important

Take care of yourself. It's good for you.

10 Reasons Getting Enough Sleep Is Extremely Important

Let's face it, life gets chaotic at times. Things come up, stuff happens, and deadlines arise. As a college student, I know this reality first hand. I often find it hard to balance work with taking care of myself.

Sleep is an important way though to reset your body and mind after a long day, and to recharge for the next one. It helps your overall mental, physical, and emotional health in more ways than one. Here are 10 reasons that getting enough sleep is an important thing to strive for.

1. Sleep is a great way to de-stress and relax.

We all get stressed and overwhelmed, it's a normal reaction and shows us we are alive and feeling. But the best way to relieve this stress and relax is to sleep. Sleep serves as a healthy and easy way to escape reality for a bit and rest your mind and body. It is a free stress reliever, and anyone can do it!

2. Sleep recharges your body.

Whether you're an introvert or not, everyone needs time to recharge their self after a long day. Sleeping allows you to renew your energy and rest your body, so you're all set to go rock the next day! Even though we aren't robots, just like our iPhones, we need some time to recharge because our batteries are not infinite, either.

3. Sleep makes you smarter. 

It makes you smarter! According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute article on sleep deprivation and deficiency, getting enough sleep actually helps increase healthy brain function. Sleep enhances your learning and problem-solving skills. While you are sleeping, your brain is forming new pathways that will help you learn and retain new information.

That's why when you're tempted to pull an all night before a big test the next day, stop! Instead, you should study a bit and then make sure you sleep soon after, so your brain is rested and healthy, thus being able to retain information better, allowing you to ace your test!

4. Sleep improves your emotional well-being.

Sleep also helps your emotional well being. Studies have shown that sleep deficiency alters parts of the brain, which leads to trouble making decisions, solving problems, and controlling your emotions and behavior. Sleep deficiency has also been linked with depression, anxiety, and risk-taking behavior.

As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I want to advocate how important it is to our mental well-being to sleep. After a long night of no sleep, I feel like my depression is triggered more the following day. Take it from me, please sleep if you can and help yourself if you are struggling with mental illness. Sleep deprivation only adds to distress.

5. Sleep heals the body.

Sleep is directly involved in your physical health as well as your emotional and mental. All three are linked and sleep plays a big part in all of them.

Getting enough sleep actually helps to heal your heart and blood vessels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Sleep and your body will thank you for healing it!

6. Sleep helps control your appetite. 

Sleep serves as a great modulator of your body's digestive function and metabolism, and sleep loss has been shown to to result in metabolic alterations, including a decrease in the appetite-regulating hormone. In simpler terms, sleep deficiency has been shown to increase obesity in many age groups.

This is because sleep balances the hormones that make you feel hungry and full. it has been shown when you haven't gotten enough sleep, the hormone that makes you feel hungry is heightened in your body, and the hormone that helps you feel full decreases. So before you think about getting that midnight snack, try drinking a glass of water and going to sleep. Your body may just be tired, not hungry.

7. Sleep helps you grow.

Sleep helps specifically target growth in kids and teens, because deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes natural growth.

This same hormone helps boost muscle mass and growth in kids, teens, and yes, even adults. So everyone who considers their self an adult and thinks they don't need as much sleep as they did when they were a teenager, think again. Sleep is beneficial for all age groups, as we are always growing and changing, even in our adult years.

8. Sleep decreases risk of diabetes.

Sleep affects how your body reacts to insulin, which is the important hormone that controls your blood sugar levels. Sleep deprivation results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which puts you at the risk of getting diabetes. So not only is it important to watch how much sugar you consume everyday, it's important to get enough sleep to keep your body's blood sugar levels at a healthy amount.

9. Sleep helps your immune system.

Who hates getting sick? I know I do! Right now I am battling a sinus infection, and I definitely believe it's because I haven't been getting enough sleep. Whenever I find myself in a pattern of getting poor sleep is usually when I catch a cold. Sleep affects our immune system directly. Ongoing sleep deficiency changes the way our immune system responds to foreign substances and germs that lead to sickness.

If you're sleep deprived, you may have a harder time fighting common infections such as colds. So stock up on that orange juice, take your vitamin C tablets, and please, get enough sleep to fight off these colds during these long winter months.

10. Sleep leads to dreams.

How cool are dreams? When you think about it, dreaming is like having a movie playing in your head that only you can see. Now sometimes this movie may not make any logical sense, and can lead to nightmares and panic attacks causing you to wake up in a cold sweat but.....sometimes these dreams are great! I have gotten so many ideas from my dreams, which I believe have carried over to my real life.

Dreaming is when your subconscious comes alive and you can really work through all the issues you may not even realize you're dealing with. Dreaming to me is a great opportunity to explore your mind, and without sleeping, you'll never be able to discover these dreams. So dream away!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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