We all know it's important to get a good night's sleep. But I think we forget how deeply a sleep impacts us. Here are 3 surprising ways that good sleep benefits our lives:
Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.
In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same—and both can affect cardiovascular health.
"Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure," Dr. Jean says. "It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease."
Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan—although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too).
In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.
Sleep also affects quality of life.
"Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep," says Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. "If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It’s pretty clear."