1. Sleep Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.

2. Sleep May Prevent Cancer

People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that both makes us sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumours. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.

 

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3. Sleep Reduces Stress

When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes.

 

4. Sleep Reduces Inflammation

The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to be one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age.

 

5. Sleep Makes You More Alert

A good night’s sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night’s sleep.

 

6. Sleep Bolsters Your Memory

Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but a process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. Getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

 

7. Sleep May Help You Lose Weight

Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.

 

8. Naps Make You Smarter

Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.

 

9. Sleep May Reduce Your Risk for Depression

Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression.

 

10. Sleep Helps the Body Make Repairs

Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.

 

Source: http://longevity.about.com

 

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.