This week I'm on a (well deserved) break from university. I've slept quite a lot and, although I usually try to get my beauty sleep, sometimes the workload from college doesn't let me have it. Even if it's only Tuesday, I can feel the benefits of sleeping well by now. The first symptom that I've been having a good nights sleep is my face: my natural cheeks usually disappear when I'm not sleeping well and I look like a walking phantom because my face turns yellow. But when I sleep well, my cheeks come back to life and my face turns kind of pink, which is way better than the phantom-look!
I am pretty sure that the health benefits of sleeping well go way beyond physical appearance... I actually was reading a book the other day –The Social Animal, by David Brooks–, where it said that:
during sleep the brain consolidates memories, organizes the things that have been learned that day, and reinforces the changes in the brain that have been ushered by the previous day's activities.
I decided to do some additional research, and here's what I found:
- A good night's sleep is associated with a longer life, although it is not clear if it is a cause or a result;
- It boosts your creativity, because it helps you reorganise your memories and thoughts in a way that you can create new, innovative ideas.
- It helps improve your physical performance, which is particularly good for people who practice sports regularly.
- It improves your concentration. In fact, lack of sleep in children usually results in symptoms related with ADHD.
- It helps you keep your figure. Research has shown that people who sleep well are more able to lose fat, whether those who are sleep-deprived lose muscle mass. Additionally, it is believed that a good night's sleep helps accelerate your metabolism.
- It reduces stress, which, in turn, lowers blood pressure.
- It improves your mood, since lack of sleep usually increases your irritability and makes your more judging.
- If you're a driver, it helps you avoid car accidents. Insufficient sleep can be almost as bad as alcohol when you're driving!
- It helps maintain a good immune system, as you are less vulnerable to get infections, such as colds and other, more severe, infections.
- It makes you happier! Lack of sleep makes you feel anxious and impatient, which might conduce, in the long run, to depression.
Apparently, my beauty sleep does much more than that for me. What are you waiting before going to bed?
PS. I used this article (and this one) to write this post. The picture was taken in New York.