We all know it’s good for you to get a good night’s sleep. But you might not know just how important sleep really is. In fact, getting a full night of restful sleep could be the key to better health and happiness for many people. In this article we’ll discuss the importance of sleep and why you may want to start going to bed earlier.
1. Improved memory
Sleep has tons of brain-boosting benefits. If you’re a student looking to bring up your grades, stop pulling all-nighters to study and start getting a solid eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep is shown not only to improve cognitive functioning, but to sharpen your memory, too. People who get a good night’s sleep have an easier time memorizing new things than those who don’t get enough sleep. While your body is resting up during sleep, your brain is hard at work processing information and committing it to memory. So hit the sheets instead of the books to bring your GPA up.
2. Clear mind
If you’ve ever missed a night of sleep, you know that when you go without sleep, your mind seems to slow down. Sleep is essential for keeping your mind clear and sharp. When you haven’t gotten enough sleep (or when you just don’t sleep well enough) your brain feels foggy and you may have a harder time performing even fairly simple tasks. This is because your brain needs sleep in order to work properly. Without good sleep, your brain goes haywire and you aren’t as sharp as you should be.
3. Better athletic performance
A lack of quality sleep doesn’t just affect your brain. Bad sleep or no sleep at all affects the way your body works, too. When you skip on quality sleeping time, you hurt your athletic performance. This is likely due, in part, to that brain fog we mentioned earlier. However, sleep is important for your physical health as well. When you sleep, your body has a chance to test and repair. Miss out on sleep, and your body misses out on this chance to mend itself and get ready for action.
This is a concern for athletes, of course, but even casual joggers or gym-goers suffer when they don’t sleep well. After all, you don’t want your hard work in the gym to go to waste. So don’t feel too bad about hitting the snooze button before you hit the gym in the morning. That extra sleep is essential to your performance!
4. Beauty benefits
In addition to the benefits for your mind and body, sleep helps out when it comes to beauty. There’s a reason sleep is sometimes referred to as beauty rest—the better your rest, the more beautiful you’ll be.
But how exactly does sleep make you better looking? There are a few specific beauty-related benefits to getting a good night’s sleep:
- Goodbye under eye bags. The most obvious beauty benefit of good sleep is a lack of under eye bags. When you don’t sleep well, you may notice dark, puffy spots underneath your eyes. These are a dead giveaway that you were up late last night, not to mention they make you look tired and older.
- Fewer wrinkles. While you get your rest, your skin, just like your brain or body, is hard at work repairing itself. During sleep, your skin is producing collagen. That’s the stuff that keeps you from getting wrinkles as you age. Skipping out on sleep means less collagen and more wrinkles. So go to bed earlier and you’ll look younger longer.
- Brighter and happier face. When you sleep well, your complexion appears brighter. That means skin looks fresh and youthful and your cheeks have a rosy glow. People who get enough sleep also tend to look healthier and happier—maybe because they feel so well rested.
5. Improved mood
That brings us to the final benefit of good sleep: a better mood. If you’ve ever been sleep deprived (and we’ve all been there at least once before), you know if puts you in a bad mood. When we don’t sleep well, we wake up on the wrong side of the bed. And that sour mood can linger throughout the rest of the day, leading to an overall less joyful day. While it’s totally normal to have a bad day or two every once in a while, if you’re constantly missing out on sleep, you may find your bad mood starts to affect your life in some pretty big ways. After all, nobody wants to live or work with someone who’s always in a bad mood.
Get some rest!
Clearly, getting your eight hours of sleep each night is crucial to living a happy, healthy, and productive life. There are many benefits to getting a good night’s sleep—far too many to name. But getting a good night’s sleep certainly never hurt anyone. So tonight, make sure you go to bed early and sleep well.