1. Helps You Lose Weight
Getting the right amount of sleep is important for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Sleep deprivation causes your body to release more of the stress hormone cortisol. Among many negative impacts, high levels of cortisol tell your body’s cells to store more fat.
Additionally, a lack of sleep affects the release of the hormones which control our appetite: Ghrelin and leptin. These changes lead to us feeling more hungry more often, and less satisfied after consuming a meal.
Being overtired also weakens your resolve to stick to a diet. When you’re exhausted you’re more likely to feel justified in “cheating” in order to improve your mood and boost your energy levels with sugary snacks.
2. Regulates Mood, Improve Social Interaction
Changes to our mood is one of the most apparent side-effects of suboptimal sleep, and many of us have first-hand experience with irritability, increased frustration, and even symptoms of depression when overtired.
Sleep plays an important role in our capacity to regulate positive and negative emotions and increases impulsivity. In fact, sleep deprivation actually lowers our responsiveness to emotional stimuli.
Science has shown that being sleep deprived actually reduces our ability to pick up on important social cues and respond appropriately to them — such as recognizing facial expressions.
Together, all these impairments make it difficult to navigate our social world.
3. Enhances Memory & Performance
Sleep is absolutely essential for your brain to be able to function at an optimal level: Affecting everything from your ability to concentrate and solve problems, to your recall of important information.
Even moderate sleep deprivation can reduce performance in a similar manner to alcohol intoxication, and increases the amount of errors we make.
4. Reduces Risk Of Type II Diabetes
Chronically under-sleeping raises your risk of developing Type II diabetes by affecting how your body processes sugar.
Research participants who were only permitted to sleep 4 hours per night for five nights experienced a 40% decrease in their levels of insulin — the hormone which regulates your body’s use of sugar.
Other studies have shown that sleep deprivation negatively impacts glucose metabolism, while reduces insulin sensitivity, resulting in high blood sugar.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Not getting enough sleep increasing the amount of inflammation you experience: Raising your risk for developing heart disease and diabetes, and exacerbating symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
This increase in inflammation is due to a surge in your body’s production of inflammatory cytokines, alongside a reduction in inflammation-fighting proteins.