If you’re getting less than the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep a night, here are nine reasons that you should shut down your phone, turn off the lights, and go to bed an hour early tonight.
1. Better health. Getting a good night’s sleep won’t grant you immunity from disease. Research has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.
2. Better sex life. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they’re just too tired. There’s evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels — although the exact nature of the link isn’t clear
3. Less pain – If you have chronic pain or acute pain from a recent injury, getting enough sleep may actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and lower pain threshold. Unfortunately, being in pain can make it hard to sleep.
4. Better memory – Feeling forgetful? Sleep loss could be to blame. Studies have shown that while we sleep, our brains process and consolidate our memories from the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, it seems like those memories might not get stored correctly — and can be lost.
5. Stronger immunity – Could getting enough sleep prevent the common cold? One preliminary study put the idea to the test. Researchers tracked over 150 people and monitored their sleep habits for two weeks. Then they exposed them to a cold virus. People who got seven hours of sleep a night or less were almost three times as likely to get sick as the people who got at least eight hours of sleep a night.