The Goodness of Sleep
Re-cap: Sleep is the foundation your physical and mental health rest on. Or rather it is healthy sleep – sleep of adequate duration and quality – that supports your health and wellbeing. It plays an active role in enabling your body and mind to function so that you can excel in all areas of life.
The benefits of sleep
If you allow yourself to sleep for as long and as well as you need, the risk of many physical illnesses and disease goes down. A healthy sleep helps to keep diabetes, weight gain, cardiovascular diseases, and even certain cancers at bay. It might even support your fertility. Your physical health can also affect your sleep of course. Being physically fit, and not eating late at night can make it easier to sleep well.
Sleep also influences your mental health. After a good night, your emotions are balanced making it easier to understand and empathise with others. You are motivated to socialise and feel connected to the people around you. Given the rise in the number of people who feel lonely or socially isolated, this matters a lot. (Read my post on how poor sleep increases feelings of loneliness.) And yes, if you are wondering whether pleasant emotions can support your sleep, you are right about that!
As you can see, there’s a two-way relationship between sleep and your overall wellbeing. One that you have some influence over!
Looking after yourself means looking after your physical, mental and sleep health. Luckily, by taking care of one, you can improve the other two, too.
Go and reap the benefits of sleeping well!