Did you know that sleep helps you heal? Getting a good night’s sleep is always recommended to wake up refreshed and renewed. It’s even more critical when you’re trying to heal. How and why is sleep so remarkable in speeding healing? To shed light on the mystery and bolster your resolve to get adequate ZZZs, here are the most remarkable ways sleep helps you heal.
Sleep Helps You Heal: Cell Injury Healing
Sleep deprivation exacerbates and potentially contributes to slow recovery and damages cells, particularly those in the liver, lungs, and small intestines. Getting sufficient sleep is essential because of the possibility of severe damage to these and other vital organs in the body.
- Take steps to restore healthy sleeping patterns. This should be a motivating factor in healing.
Sleep Helps Maintain Brain Health
Beyond the frontal lobe, brain parts consistently benefit from a good night’s sleep. Many older adults have Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive deficits, or other gray matter deterioration caused by aging. A growing body of research shows that a longer time awake is linked with increased cognitive impairment and increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, those with addiction often suffer substantial brain damage.
- To maintain brain health, prioritize sleep.
Sleep Helps You Heal: Combat Stress
Stress is an almost unavoidable aspect of daily living. That doesn’t mean you have to fall victim to it. Among effective stress-relieving techniques is the recommendation to get a good night’s sleep. Indeed, disrupted sleep and sleep deprivation shock the body’s immune system into the same response it has to stress.
- Of course, seeking to reduce or eliminate toxic stress requires more than just sleep, but sleep is one of the essential components of ways to help speed recovery.
Sleep Reduces Relapse Risk
Research shows that sleep disturbances increase the risk of alcohol relapse. Insomnia is a prevalent and persistent problem for those in early recovery. This the first 90 days of sobriety. Also, insomnia among early recovery patients may be up to five times higher than in the general population. It may last longer if not addressed.
- Target ways to improve sleep and eliminate sleep disturbances. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other proactive therapeutic practices.
Sleep Helps with Nutrition
It may seem incongruous, but sleep helps you make better food choices. That’s according to research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An area of the brain, the frontal lobe, becomes damaged with continued sleep deprivation. This results in an inability to gather sufficient information to decide on the right foods to eat. Healthy nutrition is one of healing’s crucial elements. Research also links sleep problems with obesity.
- To eat healthier and help speed healing, strive for consistent restorative sleep.
Sleep Can Help Prevent Sleep-Related Mood Disturbances
A 2006 study from the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry found that sleep disturbances can contribute to daytime mood disturbances.
- Individuals with consistently poor sleep were likelier to be irritable when awake. They were also potentially more prone to cope with mood changes by drinking.
A Johns Hopkins study reveals that healthy men and women who had interrupted sleep noticed a 31 percent reduction in their positive moods the following day.
Research from the University of Warwick concurs. It suggests that those who evaluate their sleep positively (“I slept better last night than I normally do.”) may have a better mood the next day.
Sleep May Help Maintain Optimal Emotions, Social Functioning
There are various stages of sleep. Among them, deep sleep can drastically reduce the amount of activity in the parts of the brain that control emotions, decision-making, and social interaction.
- Getting regular deep sleep can help your brain. You’ll be better at maintaining good emotional control, decision-making, and improving social functioning.
- It’s also great to help you find the real you.
Sleep Reduces Depression Risk
It’s not unusual to experience difficulties, particularly during the initial stages of healing. But when disappointments and feeling blue last longer than two weeks, it could be a sign of depression. Studies have linked inadequate sleep (less than five hours) to an increased risk of depression.
- Furthermore, 75 percent of those with depression find falling or staying asleep hard.
- An excellent way to counter that risk is to get the recommended average of eight to nine hours of sleep.
Sleep Helps Improve Memory and Concentration
If it seems like sleep has many profound benefits, it’s true. Two more include sleep’s beneficial effects on memory and concentration.
- Besides being more alert and able to focus on a task at hand, getting sufficient sleep assists in the formation of new memories and the ability to recall what you need to.
Sleep Helps You Heal: Creative Problem-Solving
Sometimes, the right solution or approach to a particular problem or issue seems out of reach. Research strongly suggests that regularly getting a good night’s sleep can help spur creativity – particularly in creative problem-solving. One tip: Write down what you want your subconscious mind to work on while you sleep.
- During your sleep, your mind will be busy sorting through and analyzing potential approaches. You” awaken with some that you can explore further. Here, the concept of lucid dreaming may also be helpful.