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Why Investing in Healthy Sleep Is the Best Thing You Can Do



Why Investing in Healthy Sleep Is the Best Thing You Can Do

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Our modern lifestyle provides endless reasons to skimp on sleep. We can choose to stay up to finish some overdue work. We can choose to stay up late to catch up with friends. We can lose track of time while reading a good book. A TV show might suddenly become so interesting we can’t possibly stop watching on a cliffhanger.

However, no matter how attractive all of these options may seem, choosing to sleep better consistently is actually the best possible investment we can make. Here’s why.

1. Stronger Immune System

In this day and age, having a strong immune system has become more important than ever. When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system doesn’t have the energy and the resources to fight off infections, which is why we often get ill when we are not getting enough sleep and are generally tired.

Ever wonder why we tend to sleep so much when we’re down with a cold or flu? This is our body’s way of shutting down unnecessary processes, so it can release the cytokines needed to combat infection and inflammation. When we deprive it of this opportunity, we merely prolong the illness.

2. Better Recovery

Another amazing thing our body does while we are asleep is repairing all the miniature damage we’ve caused during the day. When we exercise (or take long walks, or exert ourselves in other ways), we cause tiny tears in our muscles. These tears repair and recover while we rest, which makes them stronger over time.

When the body doesn’t get the chance to recover, we’re essentially walking around damaged. This, in turn, will cause muscle aches and pains. It can even result in more serious injuries, especially if we are engaging in regular exercise.

3. General Health Improvements

In short, there is no process in our body that sleep doesn’t impact positively. In fact, getting enough sleep on a regular basis can prevent all the usual lifestyle-associated illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s.

Lack of sleep also has a profound impact on our mental health. Most mental conditions, from anxiety and depression to OCD and PTSD, can take a turn for the worse when we don’t get the rest and recovery we need.

4. Healthier Weight

Our metabolism is another vital function that lack of sleep impacts significantly. First of all, our body is better able to manage insulin levels when we’ve had enough sleep. Secondly, a lack of sleep also results in us reaching for all the wrong kinds of fuel.

When we are tired and sleep-deprived, we try to keep ourselves awake by eating calorie-dense foods and foods high in sugar. These meals provide an energy rush, so they do offer temporary relief, but in the long term, they often lead to weight gain.

5. Improved Cognitive Functions

There is an intricate connection between sleep and success. When we are refreshed and wide awake, we are able to perform better. Our focus is better and our mind is sharper. We’re able to execute our ideas with much less effort and achieve better results.

Those who get enough sleep are often more satisfied with their jobs. They’re able to work towards better positions and achieve promotions faster than those who are constantly sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can lead to poor performance and heightened stress. For a sleep-deprived mind, even minor challenges often seem insurmountable.

6. Better Mood

Sleep is also directly linked with our mood. Sleeping poorly leaves us feeling cranky and shortens our fuses, which will have an impact on every aspect of our lives. Our personal relationships may begin to suffer, as we are less pleasant to be around and as we have the unpleasant tendency to snap.

Our work and business relationships will also be impacted, and we may find ourselves occupied by interpersonal dramas much more than we are with the job at hand. This will, again, naturally impact our productivity levels and the quality of our work.

7. Better Decision-Making

Finally, how much sleep you get can directly impact the kinds of choices you make during your waking hours. When you are well-rested, you are able to approach an issue from every angle. You feel more positive about yourself and life in general, and you’re better able to foresee the consequences of your actions.

When you are moody, feeling a bit under the weather, dissatisfied with yourself, your friends, your job, your health, and your appearance (all of which tend to be the side-effect of sleep deprivation), you are not able to make the same sound calls. And that can also come back to haunt you in unexpected ways.

Final Thoughts

In short, there is no aspect of life that isn’t impacted by how well you’re sleeping every night. The more you deprive yourself of healthy sleep, the more stressed, tired, and irritable you will be. Naturally, that will start to affect everything from your relationships to your success at the office.

Instead of giving up that extra hour of sleep you sorely need, start your days by scheduling in enough sleep. You’ll soon notice how your entire life is taking a turn for the better.

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