It’s World Sleep Day, so we’ve decided to take a look at those hours we spend slumbering, and why they’re so vital to a happy and healthy lifestyle. As we all know, sleep is an incredibly important part of our lives – with a good night’s sleep improving our health, wellbeing, and even giving us a beauty boost. So why exactly is sleep so important, and how much of it should you be getting to ensure you receive all of its benefits?
Getting those Zs is good for your health
For a time that seems to involve very little activity on our part, sleep is actually a period in which our body gets a lot done – replenishing itself and setting us up for the day ahead. As such, it makes sense that getting a proper night’s sleep is important – if you aren’t properly rested, you won’t be ready for the waking world.
There are numerous health benefits to be received from getting enough sleep, that improve both your physical and mental health. For instance, getting the right amount of sleep can make you much more active – improving your physical capacity and giving you much more energy to draw on during active periods. Sleep also provides a boost to your immune system, making your body much more able to fight off illnesses and even helps stave off the common cold.
In another instance of bodily maintenance, sleep releases chemicals that help to prevent inflammation – helping to keep the body in a good condition and reduce aches and pains. One of the most important things sleep does is lower blood pressure, putting less strain on your heart and keeping it in good condition. However, the benefits aren’t purely physical – sleep also helps to keep you sharp mentally. People who get enough sleep regularly demonstrate a higher degree of concentration and productivity. All in all, sleep is a great help to your physical and mental state.
Sleep and beauty, wake up fresh-faced
While the health benefits are great, it certainly doesn’t hurt that sleep also offers an aesthetic boost as well – so anyone looking for some new beauty tricks should pay a quick visit to their pillow. One of the areas in which sleep offers the most benefit is that of skincare. For instance, during sleep your skin makes a lot of new collagen, which is a protein that keeps skin plump and helps to prevent wrinkling. During sleep a lot more blood goes to your skin as well, keeping it healthy and providing it with that ‘oh what a beautiful morning’ glow we all crave so much. However, it doesn’t stop there. Your skin also takes the opportunity to recover moisture while you sleep, which means that if you want to avoid dry and puffy skin, you should keep your head on the pillow a little while longer.
Did you know sleep is good for your hair?
Hair is also a major beneficiary of a good night’s sleep. Your hair gets a lot of nutrients while you’re asleep, and a deficit of rest can leave your hair brittle and easily damaged. As such, your luscious locks are best preserved by a solid eight hours. However, while the beauty hacks are nice, it’s the interior benefit that makes sleep so valuable. Looking good is all about feeling good, and that’s much easier when you’ve had enough sleep – with people who get enough sleep having a much more positive self-image than people who don’t. Sleep makes you feel better, which helps you look better in turn
How much sleep do we actually need?
With the benefits of ample sleep extolled, it’s time to ask that most important of questions – how much sleep do we actually need? While it depends on your age to a certain degree, once you hit adulthood the optimum amount of sleep settles into a consistent range. Ideally, you should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night to receive all the benefits.
How to sleep good
However, for some people it isn’t so easy getting to the Land of Nod – so what helps a person get to sleep? Well, something that’s very important is a proper sleep schedule. If you’re always sleeping at different times for different durations, your body’s going to get thrown out of whack – and will have trouble getting to sleep smoothly. For this reason, it also helps to have a set bedtime routine, to get your body ready for sleep. It’s also important to make sure that your environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep and that you’re comfortable. Hopefully, these tips will help you get the sleep you need so that you can reap the many benefits of catching Zs.