Today is World Sleep Day which celebrates all the joys of sleeping as well as highlighting some of the problems that go with it.
There are plenty of issues to do with sleep and education, medicine, social lives and driving, but it is an essential part of everyday life and something that most people enjoy doing.
In honour of World Sleep Day, here are eight benefits of sleep that you might not have known. Next time your mum has a go at you for having a lie in? Throw one of these facts at her.
1. Improving memory
Anything you have learned throughout the day is consolidated and committed to your memory as you sleep. It’s like a computer backing up all of its files. This is also the reason that you can remember facts that are played as a recording while you sleep.
2. Boosts creativity
After memories are consolidated during sleep, the brain can then play around with those memories – allowing you to be more creative the next day.
3. Improves athletic ability
Studies at Stanford University show that people who start sleeping for over 10 hours per night can improve their exercising abilities as they can run faster and have increased stamina.
4. Focuses attention
Having a well-rested mind allows the brain to focus and increases its attention-span. Being able to focus improves academic performance.
5. Curbs appetite
People who sleep less are more likely to put on weight as their appetite increases. Sleeping longer reduces the body’s cravings.
6. Reduces stress
Doctors agree that sleeping reduces stress levels and this, in turn, lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart attacks.
7. Helps mental well-being
Sleeping for longer can help people who are diagnosed with depression or anxiety. Doctors recommend following a pattern to get the same amount of sleep every night.
8. Ward off illness
Getting sick is the last thing anybody wants, but the good news is that getting more hours of sleep improves your immune system, which fights off infections.