You know you need it, but do you know why? Read on to find out the body benefits of sleep!
Wanting or needing sleep is a natural human reaction. Think about it – we spend our days running around to work, school, the grocery store, taking kids to and from activities, and essentially just living our lives. It’s no wonder sleep becomes a priority at the end of the day! But the benefits of sleep go far beyond just getting us through to the next day.
“Sleep has its fingerprints on every facet of our lives,” said Julian Hayes II, author, health and fitness expert, and founder of TheArtOfFitnessandLife.com. “Sleep is involved with the healing and repairing of our body on a nightly basis. From our heart to our blood vessels to our skin to our brain to our processes of retaining information to managing our weight to our muscles—consistent and quality sleep is the most important thing for optimizing all of those areas.”
Hayes offered these insights on the body benefits of sleep that you can see when you get enough zzz’s.
Sleep Contributes to Having Self-Control
Good sleep leads to you being less impulsive and making less than ideal choices because there’s a normal amount of activity in your prefrontal cortex which is where decisions are made and various emotions expressed. Good sleep helps you have more self-control and discipline which then helps you not binge during the day or make other less than ideal choices toward your weight loss goal.
Sleep Helps to Control Appetite
Good sleep keeps your hormones functioning optimally. In particular, ghrelin and leptin. While their are many other important hormones and other metabolic processes involved, these two play a leading role in controlling appetite.
Think of leptin as the hormone that keeps your appetite at appropriate levels and your metabolism functioning at a proper level. This functions at appropriate levels when you’re getting good sleep. Poor sleep equals a harder time being full.
Think of ghrelin as something that stimulates appetite and send signals to tell you when to eat (like getting hunger cravings at times). Good sleep keeps this at appropriate levels because when you don’ t get good sleep, this spikes and you get increased signals to eat.
Physical Benefits of Sleep are Easy to See
Getting the appropriate amount of sleep contributes to a variety of physical benefits, including skin health, minimizing puffy eyes, and experiencing less bloating. The right amount of sleep – 7-9 hours per night – also helps with mental sharpness throughout the day, maintaining a positive mood, and staying focused.