8 Health Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep

  • 8 Health Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep
    The benefits of a good night's sleep go far beyond feeling refreshed and alert the next day. Sleep is linked to your physical health, mental health, and quality of life. Read on to learn how sleep betters your body and mind.

  • 1. Sharp Thinking
    A solid night of sleep helps you learn new information and skills. As you sleep, your brain forms new pathways to help you remember. Sleep also improves problem-solving skills, attention, and creativity.

  • 2. A Strong Heart
    Sleep plays a role in maintaining your heart and blood vessels. People with sleep problems have a 50% higher risk of developing and dying of heart disease.

  • 3. A Healthy Weight
    Poor sleep is linked to obesity. Sleep helps regulate the hormones that control your appetite, which explains why you may feel hungrier on days that you haven't slept well. Poor sleep may also affect your metabolism.

  • 4. Protection Against Infections
    Sleep helps keep your immune system strong so that you can fight off illnesses. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, making you more likely to catch an infection such as a cold.

  • 5. Lower Risk for Diabetes
    Getting too little sleep is linked to a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Sleep affects the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar.

  • 6. Relief from Depression
    Research shows that treating sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can help ease depression symptoms. If you have depression, make sure your doctor knows about your sleep habits.

  • 7. Driving Safely
    Not getting enough sleep slows your reaction time and clouds your judgment. Drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal collisions each year, according to government estimates.

  • 8. Lower Blood Pressure
    Sleep deprivation is linked to high blood pressure. Your heart rate and blood pressure go down as you enter the deep stages of sleep. This gives your vascular system a chance to rest.

8 Health Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep
  1. Drowsy driving: asleep at the wheel, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 6, 2014. (http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsDrowsyDriving/index.html)
  2. G.S. Perry, et al. Raising awareness of sleep as a healthy behavior. Preventing Chronic Disease. August 8, 2013;10, published online. (http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2013/13_0081.htm)
  3. Sleep and chronic disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 1, 2013. (http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/chronic_disease.htm)
  4. What are sleep deprivation and deficiency? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, February 22, 2012. (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/printall-index.html)
  5. Your guide to healthy sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, August 2011. (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf)
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Last Review Date: 2019 May 16
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