The importance of a good night’s sleep


Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for your health and wellbeing. In fact, the importance of sleep is comparable to regular exercising and eating a balanced and nutritious diet.

The amount of sleep a person needs vary from individual to individual, but the majority of adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. However, lots of adults don’t get their 8 hours sleep and this can significantly affect their body and their mood.

Benefits of efficient sleep

Below are some of the ways that a sufficient night sleep positively impacts the body and the mind.

  1. Improves concentration and attention

Getting a sufficient night sleep can help to keep your energy levels high as well as maintaining attention throughout the day, preventing your mind from wandering.

Getting an insufficient amount of sleep can mean that your brain and body don’t function to their optimum the following day, affecting your attention span, strategic thinking, concentration, reaction times and assessment of risk.

These factors are important if you make big decisions in your daily life, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. If you don’t sleep for a minimum of 7 hours every night, then this could cause you to make mistakes due to sleep deprivation.

  • Improve the appearance of skin

During sleep, the blood flow to the skin increases, the organ repairs damage from UV exposure and rebuilds collagen, reducing age spots and wrinkles. An insufficient amount of sleep could leave skin looking more dull, droopy and wrinkly than usual.

  • Keeps your heart healthy

Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of developing heart issues such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and strokes. When you are asleep, your blood pressure and heart rate drop to allow time for your heart to recover and rest.

If you are awake for longer, it means your heart is stimulated for longer, causing the increased chance of high blood pressure.

  • Improves emotional wellbeing

Sleep is extremely important when looking after your mental health. There are many psychological benefits that accompany sufficient sleep, and it can help to minimise the risk of developing poor mental health conditions. However, if you already suffer with a mental health condition such as anxiety and/or depression, it can be more difficult to sleep.

  • Keeps your immune system strong

When you are asleep, it gives the body time to repair and rest, supporting proteins and cells in your immune system. This helps to find and destroy foreign invaders that your body might be holding before you get ill.

  • Reduces stress levels

There are many reasons for stress and there are multiple ways that people can personally reduce their stress levels. Unfortunately, when you are stressed, the body releases ‘stress hormones’, such as cortisol which can keep you awake. However, when you do get a sufficient night’s sleep it can have an anti-stress effect and relax the systems responsible for creating the stress hormones.