Getting enough sleep can be very difficult for adults because our lives are so busy. We tend to think that it would be more beneficial to get six hours of sleep and have time to workout in the morning than it would be to sleep a good amount and try and fit in a workout somewhere in our day where we aren't compromising the amount of sleep we get. We also tend to get less sleep because we are surrounded by technology. With computers, tablets, cell phones, television and social media all around us, we find it a struggle to turn these things off at night and go to bed at a decent hour. Adults tend to think they do not need as much sleep as children and teens. While you may need slightly less sleep than your children, you probably need more sleep than the mere six hours you're accustomed to surviving on to receive it's amazing benefits. Getting enough sleep every night has numerous benefits including anti-aging skin, more fat weight loss as opposed to losing muscle, and even improving your memory. Here are the top things a good night's rest of at least 7-8 hours will do for you.
1. Weight Control
Getting enough sleep can help you control your weight and even lose weight. On the contrary, not enough sleep can actually make you gain weight. If you're too tired you will be much less likely to feel you have enough energy to workout after an eight hour day at the office. You also may feel too tired to make a healthy dinner, turning to a quick fast food meal instead. Also, when you don't get enough sleep your leptin levels drop. Leptin is a hormone that helps you to feel full. On the other side, your ghrelin levels become higher which causes your metabolism to slow down, which we all know contributes to weight gain. Higher ghrelin levels also makes you hungrier. So when you don't get enough sleep you actually are hungrier and crave higher fat and higher calorie foods and burn less while you sleep, all of which making you gain weight instead of lose it. Lastly, sleep deprivation makes you lose muscle instead of fat. Numerous studies have found that people who have a regular sleep routine have a lower percentage of body fat than those with an irregular sleep routine. If you are on a diet but not getting enough sleep you will burn twice the muscle and half the fat, which I can almost guarantee most of you don't want. If that isn't reason enough to make you go hit the hay, how would you like to have a better memory? Here's why memory and sleep are so closely linked.
2. Better Memory
Think you'd be better off staying up all night to study for that exam you have? Think again. Recently, it has been discovered that as we sleep, our brain actually makes new connections of neurons. If you want to remember new things, your brain needs these connections. While we sleep our brain also helps like new memories to old ones, possibly coming up with creative new ideas to remember things we just studied. Also, during sleep the brain washes away waste toxins that were built up during a hard day's thinking, making it easier to recall new things. Sleep is good for not only cementing new information but also for prepping the brain to learn. Getting enough sleep before you try and learn new things actually helps prepare your brain for initial formation of memories. If you haven't slept a good night's sleep before a day of learning, studies show that your ability to learn new information could drop by 40%! This is because a lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain key to making new memories. So think again the next time you try to pull an all nighter to prepare for your exams.
3. Anti-Aging, Beautiful Skin
You may not realize it's called getting your beauty rest for a reason. Sleep gives your body time to repair and renew itself. When you don't get enough sleep you produce excess cortisol which is a hormone that breaks down skin cells. But if you get enough sleep your body will produce more of the human growth hormone which instead will help you maintain thick, more elastic skin because of increased collagen formation, all of which contributing to less wrinkles. Also, with the help of collagen, you will produce new skin cells faster, giving your skin a more youthful appearance. Lack of sleep also gives you dark circles under the eyes, a clear sign you are not getting enough sleep. And no one wants that. And lastly, sleep deprivation weakens the immune system which contributes to numerous skin problems like eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.
So if you want to lose weight, have a better memory, and have gorgeous skin, try these few tips:
- Turn off all electronics a minimum of an hour before you go to bed to help you wind down. Give yourself time to transition from day to night by giving yourself an hour before your bedtime to get ready for the next day, wash your face and brush your teeth, and relax by doing something like reading a book.
- Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Try and go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, with help of an alarm, even on the weekends.
- Workout. Exercise helps improve the length and quality of your sleep.
- Don't drink caffeine within eight hours before your new bedtime. Caffeine stays in your system eight hours, which will either inhibit you from falling asleep all together or from falling into a deep sleep.
- Write down your worries or what you need to do the next day in a notebook. This is a top reason people can't go to sleep is because they can't turn off their mind. This will help ensure you won't forget anything you're worried about and will help you turn off your mind to get a good night's sleep.
- Avoid alcohol at least two hours before bed. Alcohol may at first make you sleepy, but will eventually turn into sugar and keep you up through the night.
- Sleep in a cold room. A drop in your body temperature actually helps produce melatonin which will help you fall sleep. To really do the trick, take a hot bath before you go to bed and then get in your cold sheets. This will really give your body temperature a drastic drop to make you extra sleepy.
Now that you have the tips and tricks to fall asleep and stay asleep, and all the reason in the world to want to do so, share this with your mate so you can both get on the same sleep schedule, and stick to it. I am sure you will notice the benefits in no time.
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