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Remember growing up being told it’s past your bedtime?

From an early age we are all conditioned to recognize the importance of sleep. Now that you’re a big strong grownup, here are some lesser known facts about sleep to help remind you just how important it is to get enough shuteye.

benefits of healthy sleep

1. Weight Control

Did you know that if you’re overtired you have a higher propensity to overeat? It’s true. Adequate sleep and the body’s regulation of appetite hormones are closely related. If you’re not getting enough rest you’re at an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.

2. Social Awareness

Research shows that if you’re under-slept, you have a decreased ability to recognize social cues in others. There is particularly compelling data that illustrates a decreased ability to process emotions through facial recognition. Just think, if you’re overtired you may be clueless to how those around you are feeling due to a reduced ability to perceive facial expressions and other non-verbal communication.

3. Mood

Nine out of ten people diagnosed with depression note having poor sleep quality. People with sleeping disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia report significantly higher rates of depression as well. Our natural mood and adequate sleep are closely linked.

4. Sexual Performance

The relationship between adequate sleep and sexual performance exists for both men and women. If you’re male, inadequate sleep has been shown to lower both your testosterone levels and your sperm-count. In females, inadequate sleep has been shown to lower sex-drive, and decrease arousal levels during sex itself. Time to count those sheep.

Let's Not Forget

The above are just a few, of the many essential areas of health linked to adequate sleep. You already know that your immune system operates at a considerable disadvantage if under-rested. You already know you’re at a significantly higher risk for heart-disease if you aren’t giving your body the rest it needs. You already know that your mental acuity and cognitive performance is impaired if your body is overtired. The list truly does go on.

As we all work to establish the healthiest lifestyles possible, remember that the best thing you can do for yourself might just be to get off this screen and go to sleep.

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