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12 Health Benefits of Sleeping 6-8 Hours

by Tom B Barnowski(more info)

listed in sleep and insomnia, originally published in issue 248 - August 2018

Getting the right amount of shuteye not only makes you feel better, but it goes above and beyond in just improving your mood or removing those unwanted eye-circles. A good night’s sleep increases memory, functionality, it lowers stress levels, maintains stronger immunity and much more.

We’ve all met the person that can’t stop bragging about how little sleep they need. If they only knew what there are doing to their body. Recent scientific studies show that a lack of sleep causes a plethora of momentous changes in the body and increases your risk for health concerns such as high blood pressure, illness, and even premature death. And that was just naming a few.   

All of us know that sleep is a basic human necessity. However in the hectic world, we live in, it is also one of the first things we skimp on. The following 12 benefits of sleep are an attempt to sell you on the importance of getting enough quality rest.  

 

Barnowski 248


1. 6 to 8 Hours for Longer Life

Research in Italy and the United Kingdom that involved 16 separate studies over a 25 year period, covering more than 1.3 million test subjects and more than 100, 000 deaths proved the correlation between sleep and a longer life. The published findings suggested that people who slept less than 6 hours a night were 12 percent more likely to suffer from premature death.

2. Sleep Regulates your Appetite

A hormone called leptin controls our appetite. When we suffer from a lack of sleep our metabolism slows down, and the leptin concentration in our bloodstream decreases, making us feel hungrier and more likely to grab for that unnecessary snack.

3. Healthier Skin

When you are asleep your body boosts the blood flow to your skin, prompting that healthy glow to your face the following morning. If you withhold on it, your complexion can look drab and leaden. Also, skin conditions like acne or psoriasis become worse, making life all the more trying.  

4. It Improves Memory

When you sleep, your brain is busy organizing and storing memories, preparing them for the next day. Denying yourself the right amount of ZZZs is a recipe for disaster. It will make you feel unfocused, fuzzyheaded and all over the place. In short, your memory recall is not as sharp.  

5. It Helps keep Depression at Bay

Think about the last time you slept like a baby. I am guessing you woke up feeling brighter and more optimistic and your energy levels were right up there. That’s how a healthy person is supposed to feel. Already small doses of sleep deprivation can eat away at your happiness level. If it gets worse, you might start feeling morose, affecting your personal and work life in a really bad way. Sleep is for free and can help you stop feeling blue. So, go ahead and get those ZZZs; it’s worth it. If sleep still remains elusive take a quick peak at Sleeping guide for details.   

6. Sleep Gives the Immune System a Boost

Do you want to give the immune cells and proteins in your body a fighting chance, then make sure that you get some high-quality sleep. A stronger immune system helps beats off colds and keeps you out of bed for the right reasons.

7. A Good Night’s Rest Boosts your Sex-drive

Keeping those ZZZs humming maintains high testosterone levels, prevents erectile dysfunction and you are never too exhausted for some fun with your significant other.  

8. You Think Clearer

Because your brain has had enough time to sort itself out, you are clearer in mind. Lack of sleep reduces your reaction time and your ability to focus. There’s nothing like feeling rested when confronted with a cognitive task.

9. You’ll Feel Less Stressed

We all live in a fast-paced world. Phones are ringing, emails and messages are continually pinging, the boss or a client is breathing down our backs, demanding results – it can all get too much – STRESS! Add a lack of sleep to that, and you have a Molotov cocktail ready to explode. Enough sleep helps lower blood pressure and elevated levels of stress hormones, preventing cell degradation over time and the risk of a heart attack.

10. Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Those of us who sleep less than 6 hours a night are at a higher risk of contracting diabetes, which can lead to other diseases such as a stroke, damaged organs, and blindness. 

11. Sleep helps Prevent Migraine and Other Types of Headaches

The propensity to suffer from migraines or headaches is linked to having less than 6 hours of sleep. 

12. Helps Regulate the Menstruation Cycle

A sufficient amount of sleep helps restore hormone production (estrogen, LH, and progesterone) and reduces stress. Sleep promotes a regular menstruation cycle, consequently prompting better fertility levels in women.  

Sleep is a natural remedy that we all like doing, so don’t deprive yourself any longer and lead a healthy and balanced life.

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About Tom B Barnowski

Tom B Barnowski MD is a sleep specialist based in Glasgow, Scotland. He obtained his medical degree from the Glasgow School of Medicine. Apart from running his sleep clinic in his hometown, he travels to host lectures at various universities and symposiums around the world in his quest to spread his knowledge on the importance of sleep. He also writes for accredited medical journals and informative websites and may be contacted via tom@blogondirt.com

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