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Reasons Why you Should Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Updated on February 29, 2012

7 Reasons to Get Enough Sleep

Many people in today’s fast-paced, often stressful world survive on less sleep than they should. Maybe you are one of them, but hey, you do alright, you get by, right? Do you really need to worry about a couple hours of sleep loss? Experts respond with a hearty YES, and there are ample reasons why.

Biggest of all, greater levels of higher potency antioxidants (namely melatonin) are released during your sleeping hours. This means a cascade of positive effects on the body. Here are a few of them:

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1.) Anti-aging. Maybe you thought being a sleep-deprived college or high school student was normal and not doing any damage. According to the experts, though, insufficient sleep means higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol.

In a study done on young, sleep deprived but otherwise healthy subjects had the hormone profiles of their elders.

2.) Preventing Illness. More sleep means a stronger immune system, which helps us resist common and seasonal illnesses. Just think back to the last time you missed a few hours over a day or two. Did you start feeling under the weather? How fast did you recover when you caught up on sleep?

3.) Diabetes Prevention. Insufficient sleep can encourage type II diabetes through increased insulin resistance. In scientific terms, sleeplessness leads to “ gross decompensation of glucose homeostasis.“ Suffice is to say that the body can not regulate insulin as it should when it operates on too little sleep.

4.) Weight Gain. Lack of sleep causes carbohydrate cravings. Scientists have long noted that a side effect of people with sleep disorders is weight gain. One of the reasons this happens is that the body increases production of ghrelin and decreases leptin production.

Ghrelin and leptin regulate appetite, with leptin stimulating it or promoting energy expenditure as needed. When we lose sleep, it appears that ghrelin production (appetite stimulant) increases during daytime hours, while leptin production decreases (telling the body it needs food.) Bottom line? Lack of sleep promotes weight gain!

5.) Impaired Brain Function. Even minor sleep loss reduces cognitive function, including poorer vocabulary, phonemic fluency (verbal) and the ability to reason. Tests show that a one hour sleep reduction per night has a significant detrimental effect on how well our brains work.

6.) The Happiness Factor. Statistical incidences of suicide, depression and alcohol dependency are greater in people with chronic insomnia. It should be noted that there is conflicting evidence about just how disturbed sleep patterns correlate to an increase in depression. However, research clearly shows an increase in anxiety in patients with chronic insomnia.

7.) Athletic Prowess. If you are an athlete or workout regularly, here is one more reason to get a good night’s sleep. Adequate sleep helps rebuild muscle tissue, heal joints and reduce swelling and damage associated with exercise. As mentioned earlier, inadequate sleep increases stress hormone release, such as cortisol, which can inhibit and even reverse the healing process.

There are many ways to get a better night’s sleep. If you would like to know more about the relationship between exercise and sleep or natural sleep aids, visit the following:


Chronic insomnia can be caused by a number of lifestyle choices or sleep disorders, some of which require medical attention. Visit the articles below to learn more:

Find natural sleep aids and accessories here:

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