A lot of people in the United States aren’t getting enough sleep, and that’s a big deal.
Insufficient sleep is directly linked to the development of severe chronic diseases, including type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.
Today I want to show you just how incredible sleep is for your body.
If you sleep for just a few hours at night, dopamine starts to release from your brain and gives you energy, cheerfulness, increased libido, and all kinds of different benefits.
If you stay awake for 24 hours, you get hungrier and eat more, which could cause you to gain weight.
You experience fatigue and drowsiness, and get angry and uncoordinated.
It’s the complete opposite of someone who’s well-rested.
Here are 10 amazing benefits that you get from adequate sleep.
1. Immune Benefits
When we sleep, we synthesize proteins that strengthen our immune system and help it fight off invaders.
It’s said that every other organ system down-regulates when you sleep, but your nervous system speeds up, which begins to activate your immune system.
While you’re resting, you’re not spending energy digesting food or walking around, you’re using it to fight off these invaders.
That’s why you need to rest more if you have an autoimmune-related issue or are struggling with the virus.
Your body is making you slow down. When the body is threatened by stress, bacteria, pollutants, or an infection, proteins in our body are activated in an immune response.
Going to bed at the same time in a circadian rhythm is important to build up that immune response.
Studies have shown that our immune system gets bolstered when we’re in a regular rhythm of sleep.
2. Heart Benefits
Getting enough sleep decreases blood pressure, heart rate, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and plaque buildup in the arteries.
It also decreases inflammation levels, which you can check by getting your CRP (c-reactive protein) levels measured through blood work.
Resting does all of that for our hearts and our blood vessels, and it’s one of the best things you can do for it.
Proper sleep positioning helps this out.
I recommend using sleep aids, which are little rolls formulated to put a 45-degree curve in your neck and a 35-degree curve in your lower back.
That’s going to open up the blood flow and nerve flow, specifically the electrical flow to the heart and blood flow to the body.
If you’re lying on your body and your head is turned to the side and you stay that way for 6 hours, it’s not going to go well.
You’re going to create soreness, inflammation, and blood flow issues.
If you’re going to sleep on your side, make sure you have your head balanced properly so it’s not leaning too far one way or the other.
It can also help to put a pillow between your knees.
3. Breast Cancer Prevention
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our circadian rhythm. Some of you may even use melatonin to help you fall asleep.
But did you know it’s thought to protect against cancer, specifically breast cancers?
Exposure to light lowers your melatonin levels, particularly for those that are awake during a nightmare or get up in the middle of the night and check their phones.
So to get better sleep and get the light out of your room. That phone of yours needs to be on night mode or shut off.
Having a TV going inside your room is also going to impact your melatonin levels.
I recommend getting some dark curtains that block the light out and get the room as dark as possible.
This is an easy thing that you could do today or this weekend.
Get the light out of your room, and not only are you going to sleep better, but you could also be preventing breast cancer.
You can also supplement with some melatonin.
Obviously, you want to get better at producing your own, but I have a Calm supplement that includes it that you can find here.
4. Lowered Blood Sugar
Many scientific status studies have proven that proper metabolic regulation is impossible without a good night’s sleep.
The reason you’re not getting the weight loss you want could be that you’re not resting enough to get into deep REM sleep.
Deep sleep is going to drop your blood sugar levels, so you have to get into a deep sleep. That means you can’t be waking up a lot, which I know a lot of us do.
If you don’t get into a deep sleep, it doesn’t lower blood sugar levels. Not only is that a problem for diabetics, but it’s a problem for weight loss.
Another good tip is to watch how late you eat.
Going to bed close to when you eat is one of the most disruptive things for sleep and decreased heart rate variability.
Cutting off eating at around 5-6 o’clock, or at least 2-3 hours before you go to sleep, can make a significant impact on you getting deep sleep, which provides a lot of benefits.
5. Increased Attractiveness
There was a study published in the British Medical Journal that took 23 people in a study and photographed them after they had been awake for 31 hours, and after they had slept for 8 hours.
Then they took those photos and gave them to 65 people, and they were judged on how attractive they were.
The results showed that the people who looked sick and tired were unattractive. This means you’re going to look better if you sleep more.
You could even put together a little beauty routine before bed like an Epsom salt bath, which is very good for the skin.
You can add baking soda to help detox the system, or essential oils to the water or on your face to help relax the system.
6. Increased Collagen Production
Sleep determines the effect of collagen. If you’re experiencing interrupted sleep, it’s interrupting collagen production.
Collagen decreases as we age, and that decrease is responsible for the sagginess and loss of elasticity of our skin, let alone our guts.
To prevent that saggy skin, research shows that lying on your back is better for your complexion.
You could be putting in collagen to help that collagen production before you fall asleep, but I like to have it the first thing in the morning for breakfast.
This helps me with collagen production throughout the day, and allows my body to produce it at night.
7. Regulates Appetite
Regular and ample sleep plays a vital role in regulating the hormones that make you hungry.
There are a lot of studies that show that when the body’s deprived of sleep, our average hormonal balance is disrupted and increases our appetite.
A lot of you stay up late, you get hungry, and you start snacking. Now you’ve gotten no sleep, and you ate more food.
8. Increased Confidence
Sleep drives confidence and motivation. Being well-rested will help you make better decisions, which leads to better outcomes, and improves your overall cognitive capacity.
This is why you may want to add in adaptogenic herbs before you go to sleep.
Cortisol starts to spike around 4:00 AM for a lot of people. But if it spikes earlier, it’s waking you up and pulling you out of deep sleep too early.
Using adaptogenic herbs right before bed helps to keep you from waking up in the middle of the night if that’s something you struggle with.
Don’t mess with your cognitive ability or your confidence—get good sleep.
9. Better Family Life
Sleep drives better family life, quite potentially because of a better sex life.
In a study, 20% of all couples of all ethnicities said that their family and sex lives were negatively impacted by poor sleep.
If you get better sleep, it means a happy wife, a happy husband, and happy kids. It leads to a happier household overall.
Love life or exercise right before bed could relax you and help you sleep.
You could also try both of these in the morning or midday, and see how that impacts your sleep.
10. Improved Mental Health
Your brain thrives off of sleep.
REM sleep has a positive effect on the brain, because the brain processes emotion in the deepest stage of our sleep. That’s why you can have crazy dreams.
Your brain is letting out that energy so it’s not building up anxiety inside of you. When you are fatigued on top of depression, it just makes it worse.
Sleep also helps our brain’s plasticity and our memory.
We retain more when we give the brain time to cool off with a period of rest.
So if you’re struggling with getting enough sleep, here’s a quick recap:
- Get the light out of your room
- Follow a sleep schedule
- Exercise/do adult activities
- Try spinal molding rolls
- Don’t sleep on your belly
- Try an Epsom salt bath
50% of us are not doing a good job when it comes to getting enough sleep.
If you want to know why you look tired with bags under your eyes, or if the problem really is how much sleep you’re getting, check out my video here.
It could be that you’re not tired, but you’re deficient in minerals, and you’re having signs of it on your face.