Three Benefits of A Full Night’s Sleep

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Y'all, we all know that we just run better when we get to sleep enough each night. So when sleephelp.org reached out to write a guest blog for GenWell, I knew this would be a valuable addition to your wellness journey! The first benefit being particularly relevant to a food-related health journey. Here's what they have to say!

 

 

We’ve all heard how important a good night’s sleep is supposed to be for us. Here are three ways that sleep affects parts of your life that you may not have thought about.

1) You’ll Make Better Food Choices

Did you know that your food choices and your weight are heavily influenced by the amount of sleep you get? It’s true! Scientists found that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can add more than an inch to your waist, and can cause you to crave different things.

In fact, those cravings are very similar to the ones you might get if you had smoked marijuana. That’s right - you get the munchies, according to scientists. You crave carbs and fats. It triggers the exact same part of your brain that reacts to marijuana - receptors called endocannabinoids. It might be the reason for those mid-afternoon snacking needs, and the reason that you eat way more than you intended to.

 

Even when you’re offered better choices when you’re shopping, your sleep deprived self may not select the better options. While sleep deprived, you’re more likely to purchase more caloric foods as well as a larger amount of food than when you’re well rested, according to this study.

2) You’ll Be In A Better Mood

We’ve all felt irritable and fidgety after a bad night’s sleep. It turns out that sleeping poorly on a regular basis can actually increase your chances of developing a mood disorder, as well as exacerbating any existing mental illnesses.

University of Pennsylvania researchers found that those who got 4.5 hours of sleep a night for a week reported feeling “stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted.” After getting a full night’s sleep for a week, the people in the study found that their mood had improved dramatically.

Your mood and mental state can also affect the way you sleep, adding to the cycle of sleeping poorly.

3) You’ll Drive Better

Roughly 35 percent of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep a night, according to the CDC. Even going without a little bit of sleep a night can cause impairment that can lead to an accident, and possibly an injury for you or the other drivers on the road.

 

“…just missing two hours of sleep can quadruple a driver’s crash risk,” said Amy Stracke, Executive Director of the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation in a 2017 news release.

When you’re well rested, you’ll be more alert and more able to respond to whatever is happening on the road faster, making you less likely to crash into anyone else.


So you want to get a better night’s sleep? Chances are, you didn’t replace your mattress after the recommended eight-year mark passed. Check the tag on yours and find out how old it is. If you need a new one, you can now shop for mattresses online.  You may also need to adjust something in your surroundings. Keep an eye out for sleep habits that you might not be aware of needing to change. If you find that even after changing things, you still can’t get a full night’s sleep, visit a doctor.