ON AVERAGE humans sleep for about one third of their lives and it may seem obvious that sleep is valuable but the full benefits are not always examined. All we know is when we´ve slept well we are ready to take on the world as opposed to sleepless nights where we feel like hiding under the nearest rock.
Scientists have spent decades going to great lengths to fully understand the benefits of sleep. Studies on humans and animals alike have disclosed that sleep is important in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital brain functions.
Our minds are surprisingly busy when we sleep. Memories can be strengthened, and learnt skills cemented in place, a process called consolidation.
Sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and has multiple benefits to the heart, weight and mind. Here are some other key benefits –
- Sleep improves the capacity for learning. Whether it´s a language or a new board game, sleep re-enforces memories and learning patterns.
- Creativity is boosted after a good night´s sleep. It strengthens emotional components in memory which is linked to improved creativity.
- Sharpen attention – especially in children, a lack of sleep can be detrimental to learning and the school environment. Unlike in adults, where symptoms might include sleepiness or anger, children can suffer from hyper-activity.
- Sleep can help with weight-loss. Research has shown that dieters who are well rested lose more fat. Well slept dieters felt less hungry than tired dieters. So if you’re thinking of starting a diet, consider an earlier bed time.
- A good night´s sleep can lower blood pressure. Stress and sleep are powerfully connected and both have a bearing on cardiovascular health.