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Sleep Part 1: The Health Benefits of Sleep

Sleep is a critical component to optimizing and improving health and wellness. Every physiological system in our body is balanced, reset, and improved during sleep. Every cell in our body benefits from high-quality sleep. Some view sleep as the "ultimate life enhancer" as quality sleep helps improve overall health, cognitive performance, mental health, relationships, physical performance, and rehab/recovery.

Overall Health: Consistent, high-quality sleep decreases disease risk, improves immune system functioning, and decreases the overall mortality risk. The lowest likelihood of mortality is seen in individuals who consistently get 7-8 hrs of quality sleep (when all other variables are controlled for). Poor quality or limited sleep duration increases the risk for obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer.

Cognitive Function: Quality sleep improves mental focus, enhances learning ability and problem-solving efficiency. Sufficient sleep improves mood, boosts motivation, and improves overall mental health.

Physical Performance: Adequate sleep and recovery improves mental focus and performance associated with physical activity, enhances strength and power outputs, improves aerobic capacity, increases time to fatigue, and decreases overall injury risk.

Injury Recovery/Rehabilitation: Prioritizing sleep during recovery/rehab improves tissue healing, speeds up recovery time, decreases the inflammatory process, and decreases overall pain perception.

Considering all of the health benefits of sleep, spend the next week reflecting on the current status of your sleep. Stay tuned next week for part 2, in which we share simple strategies to improve your sleep.

Rest well, Nicole

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