Sleep better, live better
An Irish proverb says, ‘a good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book’. This is such a true statement. They say laughter is the best medicine, but sleep is a very close second.
Much has been written about this topic, and there are many studies that show how good sleep is for you. From your weight, to your immunity, and your focus to your ability to drive; sleep is some of the best medicine there is – and it’s free!
Ever have two friends who gym, eat healthily but look totally different in terms of body size? Well, that could be down to their sleep patterns. Sleeping badly or not enough increases your appetite, cortisol levels, and decreases your growth hormone. Not only that, but it decreases your willpower since you are less able to focus!
Rest is best for staving off infection or when you have one already. Your body’s ability to fight off infection and guard against it is increased when you get enough rest. A small study showed that people who were sleep deprived where 3 times more likely to catch a common cold than those who were not. Whilst this study was small, there is adequate information which shows the link between your fighter blood cells and good sleep.
Sleeping on it really does help! During sleep, our brains process and ‘file’ memories from the preceding day. If you’re not getting enough zzzz your memories could be ‘misfiled’. Research shows that the emotional links of memories are strengthened during sleep – which helps us with easier recall when they are needed.
First in the race
Training for a marathon or triathlon? Best you get enough sleep during your training and just before your race.
Because human growth hormone is secreted during sleep, muscles are repaired during this time. This speeds up your recovery time.
During sleep mental alertness is also strengthened, as is the ability to focus. These three factors will help to give you a winning edge!
Still not sure if you’re getting enough zzzzz? Take this quiz to find out.