Sleep is the biggest pillar of good health, along with exercise and nutrition. The amount of sleep one needs varies from person to person but the average hours range between seven to 8.5. A good night’s sleep goes beyond just helping you feel fresh and rested. 

Here are lesser-known health benefits that will urge you to go ahead and snooze!

Helps anger management: Research has proven that there’s a link between sleep loss and an increase in anger. A section of the brain that controls aggression is known as amygdala. When you sleep, the activity in amygdala gets suppressed. So, an adequate amount of sleep is essential to keep your anger in check. Several hormones that act as mood stabilisers are also secreted during your sleep. So, if it’s disturbed or shorter than required, you’ll wake up feeling irritable. Sleeping well is also one of the factors responsible for keeping anxiety and depression at bay.

Impacts memory: Studies suggest that through the day, there’s an accumulation of substances in our brain that is known as ‘junk memory’. It’s important for your brain to clean up this memory on a daily basis to make space for the formation of new memory. This vacuum cleaning of sorts happens only during deep sleep. A good night’s sleep also boosts oxygen supply to the frontal cortex of your brain and thus, improves your creativity.

Improves skin: It’s known that if we don’t sleep well, we’ll wake up with dark circles around our eyes. However, loss of sleep can also cause dark pigmentation on cheeks and forehead. Clocking in enough hours of slumber will help increase your metabolism. Once that’s altered, the pigmentation starts getting better and your skin will clear up.

Helps lose weight: Your body secretes two hormones – ghrelin and leptin – that control what you eat and how much you eat. Lack of sleep affects both of them. People who stay up till late often end up with midnight cravings for carb-heavy foods. Maintaining a good sleep hygiene can help avoid such cravings. If you’re unable to lose weight despite trying a number of measures, I recommend checking your sleep patterns to see if that’s an issue.

Keeps diabetes in check: Lack of sleep affects the insulin levels in your body and leads to a state of insulin resistance, leading to a higher risk of developing diabetes. 

Boosts immunity: A good amount of sleep promotes cell growth, leading to better repair of your body and building a strong immunity system. 

Better bonding with your partner: Nowadays, I see many couples moving into separate bedrooms if one of the partners has a problem of snoring loudly or another’s sleeping time is 4 am. So, sleeping well is essential to improve your interpersonal relationship. 

(As told to Krutika Behrawala)

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