Sleep is vital to both mental and physical health, but more than a third of American adults don’t get enough, per the CDC. They should be sleeping at least seven hours per night, and the benefits go beyond feeling fresh in the afternoon. Here are five important benefits of getting adequate sleep.
People who get enough sleep do better on declarative (fact-related) memory as well as procedural (task-related) memory. This is not only because sleep-deprived people find it harder to concentrate while learning, but also because sleep is involved in cementing new information in your head.
Getting enough sleep lowers anxiety and stress, and the benefits go beyond physical phenomena. Adequate sleep can lower your blood pressure too.
A University of Chicago study found that among dieters losing weight, those who got adequate sleep lost more fat as a proportion of total weight loss than those who didn’t. In addition, getting enough sleep makes you less hungry, as the same area of the brain controls sleep and metabolism.
Research has linked conditions including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease to inflammation. Studies have revealed that people who sleep less than six hours a night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins than those who sleep more.
The NHTSA has reported that tiredness accounts for the plurality of fatal single-car crashes where the driver is responsible, beating out alcohol as a cause of those deadly incidents.