Eight hours seems to be the magical number. It’s what the experts recommend, and I seem to remember it’s what my mother always said was best. But actually getting eight hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep a night doesn’t always come easy. For me, a busy schedule and an irrational need to stay up later than my child usually gets in the way. And I know I’m not the only one who prioritizes TV time at the end of the day, or getting up at the crack of dawn to get a head start on the work day, over sleeping. So in an effort to challenge myself to hit that 8-hour goal on a nightly basis, here are five reasons we should all be getting more sleep.
Helps you feel and look your best
This might seem a bit obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. After a full 8 hours, most of us wake up refreshed, not to mention able to stay alert and awake throughout the day. And this may sound vain, but we all look better after a good night’s sleep.
Boosts your immune system
There’s too much research to argue against this one. Sleep is necessary for a normal and functioning immune system. Countless studies have proven that our immune system works best when we get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. So hit the pillow and see if you notice a difference in how often you’re getting sick.
Improves brain function
A proper night’s sleep can do wonders for your brain. You brain’s neuroplasticity – a fancy word for the ability to form new pathways and connections – is crazy dependant on sleep. The brain also tends to perform important housekeeping chores, like clearing out neurotoxins that build up during the day, while you’re sleeping. Sleep also lends itself to a strong memory and boosts your productivity.A good night's #sleep can do wonders for your brain and boost your memory! Click To Tweet
Puts you in a better mood
I know I get grumpy when I’m tired and there’s science to back up my bad mood. A lack of sleep puts your body into a hyper-aroused state, causing stress and making it difficult to wind down. On the other hand, getting more and better-quality sleep can make you feel happier.
Sleep just might help you live longer
Seriously! There are many studies to prove that people who chronically sleep less than seven hours a night don’t live as long. They’re more prone to develop high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks – unfortunately shortening their lifespan.
So, try tucking yourself in on the earlier side tonight. And if you can’t shut your brain off and hit that REM cycle, remind yourself why you NEED to sleep!