Whether it’s because we painted the town red until the early hours, had a rough night of parenting, or indulged in a 2am Netflix binge, we all know that lethargic, ‘I’ve only had 4 hours sleep’ feeling. It’s easy to wish we’d spent more time in the Land of Nod when we’re rolling out of bed, alarm clock blaring, on the cusp of tears at the thought of completing the tasks of the day ahead - but usually we just accept the bad day and move on.
What if we told you that there is actually a much bigger picture when it comes to sleep, and that you might actually be doing more damage than just having an off-day? Sleep plays a key role in every aspect of our lives, from decision making to weight gain. We’re here to spill the tea on why you should be getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night, and why your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.
1. YOU'LL BE MORE SWITCHED ON
It’s no secret that we feel low on energy when we don’t get enough sleep - everything feels like more effort than it is, it’s difficult to focus on daily tasks, and there’s a weight on your eyelids that just won’t go away (no matter how many lattes you sink).
This is because your body and brain need time to rest and recuperate, and they do this whilst you're asleep - not allowing your body this time can lead to mental fatigue on the following day. This can affect everything from attention span, to risk assessment, to reaction times - not something to be taken lightly if you’re a driver or have to make big decisions at work.
Your brain also organises your thoughts and turns short term memories into long term memories whilst you’re asleep - this is why we often feel like we wake up with a much clearer head than we went to bed with, and why we’re often advised to ‘sleep on’ our problems. Making sure you allow yourself plenty of time for rest will keep your energy and concentration levels high, and ensure you start each morning brain-fog free and ready to seize the day.
2. YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to need more fuel for the extra hours you’re awake - your body knows this and will crave food to fill the energy gap. This can make it really difficult to control your appetite, particularly later in the day when energy levels are especially depleted following a bad night’s sleep.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to changes in the level of hormones which signal hunger and fullness in the body - these changes make you more likely to opt for unhealthy and fast foods, over healthier alternatives. In this way, sleep plays a very important role in how your body uses energy, and a lack of sleep can be a downfall for many people when trying to control weight gain or eating habits.
If that isn’t enough to make you want to hit the hay early tonight, getting a good night’s sleep can also improve your immune responses, by giving your body a chance to rest and repair - this is why we always want to sleep when we’re under the weather. During this global pandemic, it’s super important that we keep our immune system fit and healthy, so make sure you’re getting your beauty sleep!
3. IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH
The stress and anxiety of everyday life has a habit of rearing its ugly head the very moment we hit the pillow - do you ever find yourself staring at the ceiling in the early hours, worrying about something that’s totally out of your control? And then you’re worried about the fact that it’s 4am and you’re up in 3 hours, and suddenly it’s a vicious daily cycle of lethargy, low mood, anxiety, and sleep deprivation? Yep, we all know the one. It follows as no surprise, then, that people who are constantly running on fumes are at greater risk of developing poor mental health than those who get their full 8 hours on the regular.
Practicing mindfulness, breathing techniques, and making sure you’re comfortable will help you fall into a long and peaceful slumber, improving your mood and productivity the following day. These little things do add up and will hopefully help you to break out of that cycle, should you find yourself stuck in it.
Why not try one of our 100% mulberry silk pillowcases? Not only are they designed to improve the condition of your skin and hair, they are also temperature regulating and super comfy - two key ingredients for a restful night. Shop our World Sleep Day offer now to get 20% off our entire silk pillowcase collection - use code BEAUTYSLEEP at checkout.
4. LESS ARGUMENTS
We all get a little bit snappy when we’re tired, but what’s worse is when those snappy moments turn into full blown arguments with the people around us. Whether it’s your partner or someone at work who has a knack for tipping you over the edge, getting a good night’s sleep can help you to foster positive relationships with them by reducing your irritability and defensiveness. What’s more, getting enough rest has been found to improve communication, listening and reasoning skills - so if you do find yourself at loggerheads with someone, you’ll be well equipped to take charge of the situation and resolve it quickly.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the benefits of a good night’s sleep - these are just a few of them, but they’re the ones which we feel are important. Head over to the World Sleep Day website to find out more about World Sleep Day and the great sleep research that is being done around the world.