5 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep makes us feel good but few of us realise that quality sleep can improve our lives in countless ways.

Below are just five of the surprising ways a few more hours in bed could change your life…

health benefit of sleep

1. Weight loss

How can staying in bed help me lose weight? Simple. For a number of reasons.

Firstly, well-rested we have better willpower meaning we are better equipped to avoid the biscuit tin.

Secondly, with a good night’s sleep behind us we don’t crave the same types of food. Sleep-deprived individuals will often reach for high-energy high-calorie snacks to give them an immediate boost. Well-rested individuals are more likely to choose healthy, lighter options.

And thirdly, our bodies actually process food differently when we have had a bad night’s rest. Scientists at the University of Chicago discovered that when sleep-deprived our fat cells suffer from something called ‘metabolic grogginess’.

Without getting too technical, this means the body’s ability to use the hormone insulin correctly is impaired. The result being unused fat is stored in all the wrong places. Such as your tissue. Which in a nutshell is how we get fat.
So if you want to drop a few notches from your belt, try and get a few more hours sleep under it.

2. Better memory

Science has long spoken of the link between good sleep and good memory but it is only recently that the boffins are actually getting a handle on what exactly is going on in there.

When we sleep, our brains are still hard at work. When they don’t have to concentrate on preventing us from walking into lamp posts or sticking our fingers in plug sockets, they are able to focus on important things. Such as sorting out our long-term memory.

As we slumber a process known to science as ‘consolidation’ takes place. This is when the brain replays the day’s events and selects which bits of information it deems important to retain and which bits can be dumped. The important chunks are then moved from the short-term memory to the long-term.

Think of consolidation as taking a wad of cash from the pocket of your jeans where it could get lost and depositing in the bank for later.

Better sleep equals better memory. Don’t forget that!

3. Improved creativity

There is a popular myth of the artistic genius who stays up all night to work on their masterpiece.

Well, I am here to tell you for all the Leonardo Da Vinci’s burning the midnight oil, there are countless more who are tucked up in bed promptly by 10pm.

When our brains are well-rested they fire on all cylinders. Neurons fire quicker and neurological connections are made more easily. This in essence is the heart of creativity. The ability to see connections, however lateral. Well rested our brains excel at this process, where the tired mind does not.

So the next time you are suffering from writer’s block, put the pen down and have a nap. Chances are you will wake up like the reincarnation of Billy Shakespeare himself.

4. Better sex

Oh, I see, now you’re paying attention aren’t you!

Sleep and sex is a relatively understudied subject but from the research that has been conducted everything suggests the more sleep you get the more sex you want. Not only that – the better the sex is when you have it. Double win!

A study conducted by the Journal of Sexual Medicine of women in romantic relationships found that just one extra hour sleep a night increased the participants sex drive by a whopping 14%.

The reason for this could be linked to the hormone androgen which is produced by the brain when we sleep. Androgen plays an important role in sexual desire.

Add to that findings from other studies suggest that better quality sleep improves blood flow to, ahem, a lady’s sensitive area. Increasing the speed and ease of arousal.

With all the extra use it is going to get, chances are you are going to want to invest in a new mattress soon, before you do check out what the experts have to say.

5. Better arguments

Couples argue. It is an unavoidable part of being in a relationship. It is also quite healthy, when done right. It helps to clear the air and prevent underlying resents affecting the relationship in the long-term.

Sleep, research has shown, allows couples to have better, more ‘productive’ disagreements. Arguments which involve softer language, covered more constructive topics and importantly ended with conciliation.

This is in stark contrast to the ‘destructive’ arguments sleep-deprived couples are likely to have. Which often resulted in things being said unrelated to the topic at hand, purely for the means of point scoring or to hurt the other person.
The reason for this is simple. Sleep deprivation makes individuals unable to empathise, short-tempered and reduces their ability to concentrate. The exact opposite is true of well-rested individuals.

So, if you are going to have an argument with your beau, try and time it for after that lovely Sunday morning lie in.
So there you have it – five wonderful and surprising ways you can improve your life by simply getting more sleep.

Don’t believe me. Try it. What’s the worst thing that can happen – you get bed hair!?

This guest post was written by Sarah Cummings

Sarah Cummings

Hey, y’all my name’s Sarah and I’m from sunny California. I’m a sleep expert that loves to write about a good night’s rest… as you can probably tell! 

Here’s a link to my social profile – https://twitter.com/sleepadvisormag. Please visit and follow me for more sleep tips!

Want to read more on sleep? Read thees posts on sleep deprivation and life expectancy and this on sleep deprivation and safety risks!

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