Posted by Jesse McCarthy-Price on

The Third Pillar of Health, Sleep - How It Affects The Body

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Proof That Great Sleep Means A Great Tomorrow

  1. Harry, Ron and Hermione
  2. Three cheese pizza
  3. Three-toed sloths ;)

It seems the best things in life come in threes. In modern medical science, sleep is considered one of the three “Pillars of Health”, the other two being diet and exercise, (or love if you’re into the ancient medicine of Ayurveda).

A good night’s sleep (and we’re talking quality, not quantity of hours) can be the best skincare investment you ever make, most effective weight loss aid, the most helpful relationship fixer, and even the best way to outperform colleagues. It is the miracle drug, à la Bradley Cooper in Limitless, you have been overlooking your whole life.

And yet, the importance of a good night’s sleep is often forgotten when you’re having a few too many nights staying up late with the kids, or (more likely) trying to get your much needed Netflix fix, studying pointless YouTube tutorials and scrolling through your social media feeds at ungodly hours.

So to inspire you to treat yourself to a few more hours a night, or permission to splurge on some new lux bedding, we’ve broken down the health benefits of sleep on your body, from your feather and down supported head to your toasty little toes.

Mind

Did you know that while you’re sleeping, your brain is actually busy consolidating all the new knowledge you picked up that day? This means that if you’re learning a new skill, or are trying to remember specific details, a good night’s sleep will actually help strengthen your memory and understanding of the tasks at hand.

Face

We’re all guilty of splurging on fancy but ineffective skincare products in our attempt to obtain clear and glowing skin. A 2015 study by the British Association of Dermatologists actually found that good sleepers recovered better from UV light exposure and other damage than their more-insomniac counterparts.

Not to show off or anything, but they also showed fewer signs of ageing. Unsurprisingly, good sleep has also been linked to better vision and reduced eyestrain, plus better speech and articulation. Feel free to take a tactical nap before your next presentation.

Heart

As well as the link to literal heart problems (five hours or less a night was associated with a 45% increased risk of heart attack), it’s no surprise that lack of sleep plays a big role in mood, depression and anxiety.

A review of sleep studies revealed sleep loss had an even stronger effect on mood than it did on motor function and cognitive ability. We hate to break it to you but it turns out your mum/dad/grandparent’s suggestion might be right – a “good night’s rest can fix almost any worry”, so sleep on it.

Abs

Set your alarm to exercise before work but come morning smugly decide to treat yourself to an extra hour of sleep? You may actually be doing yourself a favour . While you sleep, your body has a chance to heal damage done to cells and tissues during the day, and also releases a growth hormone. So if you don’t sleep, you can’t build muscle. If you don’t workout you won’t build muscles either though, so stop ignoring that alarm and get a Greywing...err we mean better sleep.

Reproductive organs

In case you needed further convincing, not getting enough sleep also lowers libido and is linked to sexual challenges like erectile dysfunction. While you’re sound asleep, your body boosts its testosterone levels for restorative reasons, simultaneously rewarding sound sleepers with a boosted sex drive for both men and women. See? Be good to your body, and your body will be very good to you.

Please note that while we are very wise at Greywing, we are not doctors, so please do not consider anything we say as “medical advice”.