Being stressed and losing sleep can impact far more than just making us tired. photo credit: gaumphotos via photopin cc

If you are feeling stressed and like skipping a little sleep to get caught up on tasks or so that you can fit in a little time for fun, you might want to reconsider.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, skipping sleep because you are stressed is only likely to make the problem worse.  Here are 7 reasons the best thing you can do for yourself, no matter how much you have to do, is to get a good night sleep tonight… and every night.


1.     It Does a Body Good

Sleep gives your body a break and provides time for critical processes to take priority.  While you are sleeping, your cells are being restored and your muscle tissue is being rebuilt.  The break sleep provides to your physical body gives it the downtime it needs to be revitalize and rejuvenate.


2.    It is Like a Professional Organizer for Your Brain

Professional organizers are experts at decluttering spaces and when we sleep, it is like having a professional organizer working in our brain.  Research has shown that our brain is working hard to sort, file, filter, and store the events, experiences, and information from the day while we are sleeping.  Without sleep, clutter builds up, things get misplaced, and we may not be able to remember things like where we left our keys.


3.    It Makes Us Nicer

If you have ever struggled with sleep, you know that when you are overtired, everything feels amplified.  A minor problem can feel like crisis.  A misspoken word can spark a fight.  Without enough sleep we have difficulty regulating our emotions.  Getting a good night sleep makes us nicer to each other and makes it easier to handle the ups and downs of daily life.


4.     It Keeps Us Healthy

The link between sleep and the immune system has been established by research in recent years.  Sleep deprivation, even if it isn’t severe, can alter hormones and suppress the immune system.  Getting the sleep you need helps keep your immune system strong which protects you from the common cold and chronic disease.


5.     It Keeps Us Sane

Sleep research has shown that lack of sleep may be a contributing factor in developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.


6.     It Helps Us Relate to Others

When we have trouble regulating emotions, it impacts all of our interpersonal relationships.  This means that being overtired can impact our marriage, friendships, and even our job.  If we don’t get the sleep we need, we may have trouble seeing another person’s perspective or being understanding to the needs of the other people in our lives.


7.     It Can Help You Lose Weight

Recent research into the relationship between sleep and weight shows that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.  When we don’t get the sleep we need, we eat more calories and may struggle to make healthy food choices.   Alternatively, getting the sleep you need can actually help you lose weight.


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