Skimping on sleep is cheating your body. One study shows that even a week sleeping less than six hours per evening can alter the expression of more than 700 genes. In fact, according to the Gallup report 40 percent get less than the recommended seven or more hours of sleep.
Here are seven reasons why you should get a full night’s rest.
1. You are more likely to eat less.
Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with the desire for high-calorie, high carbohydrate foods. Also, short-term sleep deprivation is linked to increased consumption of unhealthy eating.
2. You are less likely to have an accident.
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s drowsydriving.org, six or fewer hours of sleep triples your risk of having a car accident. Manchester Metropolitan University adds that one night with little sleep can affect the driver’s coordination.
3. Beauty sleep is real.
Researchers from the Medical Institute Karolinska in Stockholm, Sweden have linked chronic sleep deprivation with skin aging. A small study published in SLEEP showed people rating others who were sleep deprived as less attractive and sadder.
4. Your immune system is boosted.
The Mayo Clinic explains, “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.”
5. You’ll maintain brain tissue.
A small study of 15 men, published in the journal SLEEP concluded that one night of bad sleep is linked to signs of brain tissue loss.
6. You will have more emotional balance.
University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Medical School conducted a study using magnetic resonance imaging to show that sleep deprivation can make the brain’s emotional centers 60% more active.
"It's almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses," senior author Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley's Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, said in a statement. "Emotionally, you're not on a level playing field."
7. You will have more focus and better memories.
A good night’s sleep is linked to better focus. Also, according to Harvard, sleep is thought to be involved in the process of memory consolidation.