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Physical Benefits of Sleep

Posted on: August 6th, 2019 by Allie Voss

Sleep. It’s one of the many things we love and look forward to, but we often push it to the back of our priority list. With what feels like very limited time in the day, it can be easy to stay up late working (or binging your favorite TV show) and then your morning alarm comes far too quick. We thought it would be a good idea to focus on the benefits of sleep this month. You know it’s important, but just how important? Here are 5 major physical benefits of sleep:

  1. Sleep reduces inflammation: Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. This creates a greater risk for diseases and health conditions as we age. Focusing on getting more sleep and reducing that inflammation can only help!
  2. Sleep may help you lose weight: Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. Meaning, when your tired and your hormones are out of balance, you’re more likely to reach for that quick energy food or afternoon latte, more than when you’re well-rested. If your goal is to maintain or lose weight, you might want to look at your sleeping habits alongside your diet and physical activity.
  3. Sleep helps repair the body itself: Sleep is a time to relax, but it’s also a time during which the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress from work, school, relationships, etc. Your body needs that break!
  4. Good sleep can maximize athletic performance: Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance. When you’re working hard in the gym your body needs that time to repair itself so you can perform again the next day. Rest days are also important for this very reason.
  5. Sleep improves your immune function: If you often get colds, ensuring that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night could be very helpful. When your body is trying to fend something off, it can’t do so with inadequate sleep. Make sure you’re taking time to rest even longer than normal when you’re feeling under the weather.

There you have it! Five concrete reasons as to why you should focus more on sleep for those physical benefits. Next week we will be sharing how sleep affects you mentally, stay tuned!

Sources:
https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-health-benefits-of-a-good-nights-sleep-2223766
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#section8

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