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8 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep

Some people dream entirely in black and white. A total of 15% of the global population are thought to be sleepwalkers. There are plenty of interesting facts and benefits associated with sleep.

Here are 8 of them that might benefit you to know:

  1. Beauty Sleep is a Real Thing

Research reveals that people who get enough sleep are likely to look and feel better than those who don’t. This is because sleep helps to reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes, as well as improve skin tone and texture.

A rested face is instantly judged to be healthier and often more attractive, whilst those who have not had enough sleep have less elasticity, unevenly pigmented, and considerably more wrinkled skin.

  1. Sleep ‘Cleans’ your Brain and Helps you Heal

Researchers have discovered that while you sleep, your brain washes away toxins that can cause loss of brain function and Alzheimer’s. A system in the brain (similar to the lymphatic system) opens up during sleep to flush the brain with fluids and clear out any toxic by-products caused by the day’s neural activity.

Nightly ‘self-cleaning’ keeps our minds healthy and sharp as we age. During the deep sleep phase, our body also releases growth hormones that repair damaged tissue and promote healing.

  1. Sleep Can Help You Learn Better

During sleep, the brain can process and consolidate information from daytime activities. This helps to form connections between ideas and memories, making it easier to recall them later on.

During sleep, the brain is better able to store and recall memories. This is because sleep helps to strengthen the connections between neurons responsible for memory formation.

  1. Sleep Boosts the Immune System

During sleep, our body regenerates and repairs what has been worn out during daytime activities. To carry out this process, the body winds down most of its functions. During deep sleep, the heart rate decreases, blood pressure drops, breathing becomes slower and shallower, and muscles relax.

A good, restful night’s sleep provides your immune system with time to ‘store’ memories of infection so your body can build up defences to fight the same illnesses in the future.

  1. Sleep can Make you Richer

If you are keen to earn more money, science has a simple solution: Sleep more! As it turns out, sleep deprivation is not only bad for your health; it’s also bad for your bank account.

A study has found that in areas where the sun sets earlier, people sleep for longer and this translates into higher earnings. In the long term, just one extra hour of sleep a week increases wages by 4.9%. So if you live in an area that gets darker earlier, you should be richer – and happier.

  1. Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight

Studies have shown that people who get enough sleep are less likely to be overweight than those who don’t. This is because, during sleep, the body releases hormones that regulate appetite. The quality and duration of nocturnal sleep are vitally important to how the body burns fat and regulates muscle building.

The amount of sleep you get affects hormones that regulate hunger and stimulate the appetite. Not getting enough rest might make you eat more and increase your craving for high-calorie foods and carbohydrates.

  1. Sleep Boosts Athletic Performance

Studies have also shown that athletes who get enough sleep are likely to perform better and unlock their sporting excellence than those who don’t. This is because sleep helps to restore energy levels, improve coordination and balance and reduce fatigue.

Sleep is critical for physiological, biochemical and cognitive restoration in athletes and sports people. Surprisingly, studies show that even low-level fatigue can impair reaction times as much, or even more, than being legally drunk.

  1. Sleep Can Help You Live Longer

Further studies have revealed that people who get enough sleep are less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t get sufficient sleep. This is because sleep helps to reduce stress and inflammation, which can lead to several chronic illnesses.

There are several ways that inadequate sleep can result in premature death, ranging from accidents and deadly mistakes to health issues like type 2 diabetes, raised blood pressure and kidney disease.

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