5 Reasons to Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is Important

Ahhhh sleep. We just can’t get enough. Some of us go down easily and sleep like it’s our job. A job we’re highly skilled at too. Others actually can’t get enough. We struggle to fall asleep, or struggle to stay asleep. We feel tired, cranky and never totally ‘on’. Sleep can be elusive, but it’s incredibly important. Getting enough of it should be one of our top health priorities. Here are five reasons why getting a good night’s sleep is key:

Your Memory

The day after a restless night’s sleep it’s hard to concentrate. You feel foggy. You can’t make decisions easily and the words just don’t come out right. Thinking is just hard. Usually those things will improve when your sleep does. But research has shown that lack of sleep has a lasting impact on memory too. When we don’t get good sleep what we’re usually missing is that deepest state of sleep commonly known as REM. REM sleep is the time when memories are consolidated or stored for retrieval. If you’re missing REM you’re not consolidating or storing those memories that you made. Sleep is a necessary step in making your memories stick.

Your Cells

This deep state of sleep is super important for many reasons. When you reach the state of REM your body releases human growth hormone, which promotes cellular repair. Our cells need this to recover from the many toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Sleep also helps our cells recover from the beneficial stress we experience during our daily activities, such as exercise or weight training.

Your Mood

We know lack of sleep causes drowsiness, irritability, and frustration. If sleep deprivation is sustained over time, these symptoms become worse too. Lack of sleep also affects our serotonin level, which is directly related to depression. Ironically, lack of sleep can be a trigger for depression, and also a symptom.

Your Weight

Lack of sleep causes your body to produce an excess of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, hormones that make you feel hungry. It also causes your body to produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol. All three of these hormones may trigger you to eat more, and feel less satisfied with the same amount of food. Over time the hormonal imbalance and increased calorie intake can lead to weight gain.

Your Body

Inflammation, a chronic state of hyperarousal in your immune system, is a leading contributor to cancer, heart disease and a wide range of autoimmune conditions. Sleep has been shown to reduce your body’s inflammation. This may be because the circadian rhythms that govern your sleep/wake cycle also control your immune system.