Everybody loves to sleep (unless they are part of the 3-year-old crowd), but getting adequate sleep seems to elude people. I know I usually get an hour less than I really need.
Sleep needs vary between different age groups, and it is recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. However, about 35 percent of adults report getting less than the recommended amount of sleep.
If you are looking for a reason to cut your late nights short and get to bed earlier, here are four good ones:
Improve brain function
Getting a good night’s sleep can help you get peak performance out of your brain. While you are sleeping, your brain is still hard at work, whether it is at night or a quick cat nap. It can help you retain knowledge for new skills and improve your long-term memory. Sleep also helps to improve your focus and concentration. So be sure to get a good night’s rest and take a nap during the day to get the most out of your brain.
Better heart health
If you want a healthy heart, you won’t get there by skimping on sleep. Poor sleep habits increase the risk of a heart attack by 30-40 percent, according to Swedish researchers. People who get less sleep also have lower levels of good cholesterol. The good news is that the remedy to this situation is hopping in bed and getting more shut-eye. An afternoon nap can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event.
If you prefer to sleep in icy cold temperatures, you can turn the air conditioning up and watch your pounds melt (or freeze) away. Sleeping in cooler rooms has been shown to speed up the metabolism. The cold temperatures help the body produce brown fat, an active fat that burns calories. Getting enough sleep will help speed up your metabolism on its own, but sleeping in some cold temperatures can give it an extra boost.
Get sick less
Going to bed early and getting enough sleep will not only leave you refreshed and well-rested, but it may also keep you from getting sick. People who get less than six hours of sleep each night are more than four times as likely to get sick than people who get more than seven hours of sleep.
“Sleep is an important part of fighting off illnesses,” says Anh Nguyen, PACC resource for Ensign Services. “A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making it easier to get sick and harder to recover.”
Getting adequate sleep does more than just reduce the amount of yawning you do the next day. Catching some Zs will help improve your health and can keep you from getting sick as well. So be sure to hit the hay early and throw in an afternoon nap to boot.