If you’re sleeping less than 7 hours every night, you might not be getting all the rest you need. Forget about “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and start taking sleep deprivation seriously, because it can have plenty of harmful effects on the way you look and feel.
Here are the reasons to get more sleep if you’re not getting rest for at least 7 hours every night. From the way you look and your state of mind to your weight and other healthy concerns, sleep can have a huge impact on your life.
1. Look Better
One of the reasons why you don’t look your best after a night with less sleep than usual is the fact that growth hormone is usually produced in a state of deep sleep. Without it, your body’s natural repair system is thrown off and growing new tissue is also slowed down. It’s especially important to get a good night’s sleep if you have an active lifestyle.
2. Keep Your Metabolism on Track
Shorter sleep durations are also linked to being overweight or obese. Multiple studies have shown that sleeping less can slow down your metabolism and decrease insulin sensitivity. One of the most important reasons to get more sleep is that fact that when you’re sleep deprived you’re also likely to eat more foods that are high in sugar, and the energy will be stored in fat instead of being used.
3. Protect Your Immunity
When you’re not getting enough sleep, your immune function is also affected. Studies have shown than even flu vaccines work better when you’re rested. Even if you’re a completely healthy adult, the lack of sleep can reduce your immunity and increase the risk of infection.
4. Avoid Moodiness
One of the best reasons to get more sleep is your ability to concentrate when you’re awake. Without a good night’s sleep, it’s not just your looks and immunity that suffer. From having trouble focusing to being irritable, there are plenty of nasty side-effects of sleeping less than your body needs. Forget about beauty sleep and make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night just to avoid these kinds of problems.
See also: 10 Foods That Help You Sleep
5. Protect Your Cardiovascular Health
Another problem with getting too little sleep is the fact that you’re increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you continue to sleep less than your body needs, you may experience hypertension and even irregular heartbeat. Stress hormones also have elevated levels when you’re not getting enough rest, so the risk of cardiovascular disease is real.
6. Eat Less
While sleep has a good effect on keeping your metabolism running, you’re also more likely to overeat when you’re tired. One of the best reasons to get more sleep is the fact that you’ll be eating less calories when you’re awake, and burning more. When you’re sleep-deprived, your willpower is also affected, so following a diet becomes even more difficult.
7. Control Cravings
Not getting enough sleep also creates cravings. High-carb and high-sugar foods are the most common craving, and when you pair that with a reduced metabolic rate, you’ve got the recipe for weight gain. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also increased, since not getting enough sleep means a higher insulin sensitivity.
8. Manage Pain
Whether pain is caused by a chronic condition or it’s acute from an injury, one of the best reasons to get more sleep is the fact that it can help you manage it. Of course, when it’s the pain that’s keeping you up at night, you should take a sleep aid and a pain reliever before you head to bed.
9. Have a Better Sex Life
Being too tired can have a negative effect on your love life. Even if you’re not too tired to enjoy time with your partner, the sex is always better when you’re rested. And if you’re worried about calories, you’ll always burn more during sex when you’re not tired.
10. Extend Your Life
While people who oversleep don’t have significantly longer lives, a chronic sleep problem can shorten your life expectancy. It’s definitely one of the most important reasons to get more sleep, and you’ll also reduce the risk of health problems in the long run by getting enough rest every single night.