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Why is a good nights sleep important?

Getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle however our National Health report showed that the average person only gets around 6.4 hours sleep a night.

Take a look at some of these reasons why sleep is so important…

It can help improve your memory

Whilst we sleep our brains are processing the day’s experiences. The more sleep we get, the more time our brain has to make these memories and process things better. This can help increase your retention of new knowledge and help your memory improve.

Sleep helps you to concentrate

If your sleep pattern is poor, your work-life can suffer due to a lack of concentration. If you are tired, it can affect your attention span making you more likely to make mistakes or overlook things. Sleep loss can also impair your ability to make decisions and think quickly. Getting enough sleep is particularly important if you’ll be undertaking activities such as driving which require you to stay alert.

It can help improve your mood and manage stress levels

For many of us, a good night’s sleep can help us feel more upbeat the next day. Sleep deprivation can have a real impact on our emotional wellbeing – causing us to feel irritable and moody. Increased stress levels may also be a symptom of a lack of sleep. Whilst more sleep won’t eliminate all stress from your life, it can help you be better equipped to cope with it.

It can help to strengthen your immune system

Whilst you sleep, your body is working to produce extra protein molecules which strengthen your ability to fight infection. A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and increase the risk of catching a cold or getting flu. Find out more about the impact of sleep on your immune system here.

Sleep can boost your energy levels!

After a good night’s sleep, you may feel more alert and active the following day. Your energy levels after a deep sleep will go up, causing you to feel more mentally aware and ready to take on the challenges of the day ahead.

It gives your body time to replenish

When we sleep, our body works to repair any damage caused during the day (i.e. through stress or exposure to ultraviolet rays). Our cells produce more protein while we sleep to repair the cells which are damaged, allowing our body to heal faster. Find out more about what happens to your body when you sleep here.

Further useful links:

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/sleep/Pages/sleep-home.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/insomnia-poor-sleep

http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk

This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). Benenden has not provided any direct medical advice within this article. Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.