You already know that getting a good night’s sleep is a good thing: it keeps you healthy, it gives you energy to take on whatever the day has to offer, it helps you look brighter and more awake, and it generally just makes you feel awesome. Sleeping is great! There’s nothing better than getting in bed after a long day and closing your eyes.
But even though we know it’s great doesn’t mean we all get as much sleep as we should. I LOVE sleep and even I don’t do it enough – I’m totally guilty of getting in bed at 10 PM but not actually shutting the TV and closing my eyes until after midnight. After reading these unexpected health benefits of a healthy amount of shut-eye, though, I’m tempted to change up my habits. Getting the right amount of zzz’s can do so much for you! Not convinced? Here are 10 surprising benefits of sleep you need to know about:
It Can Lead To More SexYep, it's true - sleeping more can lead to a better sex life. A recent study found that women who sleep more have more sex. This is because good sleep is necessary for sexual desire and arousal. Women who had a longer sleep time had a greater sexual desire the next day than women who had a shorter sleep time. Source: ShutterStock
It Helps Fight AnxietyOne study found that a brain that was sleep-deficient mirrored the brain of a person with an actual psychological disorder when faced with negative situations. During REM sleep, the deepest kind of sleep, the brain gets to "reset emotional settings" and essentially refresh the mind. This is necessary for your brain to be able to process and deal with all of the emotions you experience during the day. Source: ShutterStock
It Boosts Your Immune SystemSleeping doesn't only refresh your brain - it also refreshes your immune system. So, if you want to stop getting sick so often, sleep more! Your brain reorganizes and replaces dead cells while you're sleeping, which you need in order to prevent getting sick. Source: ShutterStock
It Makes You More CreativeLooking for a creative boost? Make sure you're getting enough zzz's. While you're sleeping, your brain reorganizes memories, which may make you more creative. Source: ShutterStock
It Gives You Awesome SkinA dermatologist once told me that her best beauty tip to everyone was to get more sleep. Sleep is essential if you want great skin - you probably even notice this short-term. If you have a night of terrible sleep, you'll wake up in the morning with skin that is dull, tired-looking, and maybe even broken out. During the night, your skin repairs itself by replacing old cells with new ones. Other hormonal and metabolic changes are also happening, and a lack of sleep disrupts the process. Source: ShutterStock
It Helps With Decision MakingIf you're terrible at making up your mind (don't worry, I am too), you may want to consider sleeping a little bit more. When you're running on little to no sleep, your brain is suffering from lack of impulse control. A connection goes missing in your brain, and suddenly, you're making all the wrong decisions because you can't control your impulses. Source: ShutterStock
It Increases Pain ToleranceBecome a badass warrior chick by sleeping more. There is a definite connection between loss of sleep and a low pain threshold, meaning that if you sleep more, you'll be able to handle pain better. Source: ShutterStock
It Prevents DiseasesRemember how we said sleeping helps boost immunity? Well, it also helps prevent diseases like Alzheimer's or diabetes. People who don't sleep that much have higher levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, and both things are associated with aging you faster and leaving you more open to diseases. Source: ShutterStock
It Boosts MemoryOne study found that short naps can help improve your memory. By short naps, they mean less than an hour. It improves your memory, and helps with the learning process. Source: ShutterStock
It Improves Athletic PerformanceThis actually shouldn't be that surprising, but sleep helps improve athletic performance. When you're sleeping, your body is repairing itself. Your body needs that time to cool down and make itself work better in order for you to get the job done. Source: ShutterStock
Which of these benefits surprised you the most? What did I forget? Tell me in the comments.