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6 Ways a Good Night’s Sleep Actually Keeps You Healthy

We all crave a good night’s sleep. But fitting in those critical eight hours is a super important part of keeping your body healthy and operating at peak performance. Here are six ways in which a good night’s sleep actually keeps you healthy. We hope this list convinces you to actually start prioritizing a responsible bedtime!

1. Boosts Your Immune System

While you sleep, your bed charges up all that energy expended during the day and uses that energy to attack any germs that may have entered your body during the day. Without the proper amount of sleep, the cells that fight off illness weaken, leaving your body at risk.

2. Decrease Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

A key factor that contributes to heart disease is high blood pressure. When you sleep, your heart slows down and has the time to regulate itself. Without the right amount of sleep, you are denying your body the chance to get your blood pressure back to a manageable level.

3. Better Brain Functioning

Studies have found that achieving eight hours of sleep a night improves your cognitive functioning. There’s a reason your high school teachers used to preach the importance of a good night’s sleep the night before a big exam! Heightened cognitive functioning has also been shown to lead to better concentration and higher productivity levels. Your brain will thank you for giving it adequate time to rest.

4. Better Athletic Performance

While you sleep, your body repairs itself and this is why any progress made in athletic training is really established overnight. Giving your body adequate rest will enhance muscle repair and give you the energy to complete more endurance-driven activities.

5. Enhanced Weight Loss

As mentioned above, your body does its best repair work while you sleep. This applies also to weight loss efforts. After improving your diet or increasing your exercise regime, your body uses its resting time to make those physical changes to your weight. However, this can also work in the reverse: a lack of sleep has been known to lead to unhealthier lifestyles and could contribute to weight gain.

6. Better Mental Health

Sleep has been found to alleviate depression and anxiety. Proper sleep gives your brain time to process emotions and not getting the right amount of sleep can cause increased mood swings. When left unattended, prolonged periods of time without proper sleep (including instances of insomnia) can lead to increased experiences of depression.

This list covers just a few of the ways that a good night’s sleep keeps you healthy and functioning at your best. So throw on those pajamas, jump into a freshly laundered set of sheets, and soak in all the benefits that those crucial eight hours add to your life.
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