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Sleep Heals You From the Inside Out

While you sleep, your brain triggers the release of hormones that encourage tissue growth. This can help you recover from injuries such as cuts or even sore muscles from your last workout.

Quality ZZZs also help your body defend itself. During sleep, you make more white blood cells that attack viruses and bacteria, says Sunita Kumar, MD. Kumar is co-director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Loyola University Medical Center.

In one study, people who slept at least 8 hours a night were 3 times less likely to come down with a cold than those who got 7 hours or less.

 

Sleep Guards Your Heart

Your blood pressure dips as you snooze. That may give your heart a break. There may be other heart-health benefits, too.

For instance, your body tweaks your stress hormones during sleep, Kumar says. This, in turn, may curb inflammation, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and many other conditions. 

 

Sleep Revs You Up

Get enough sleep, and you’ll have enough energy for all kinds of activities. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who slept better also had more sexual desire.

Sleep Makes Tough Decisions Easy

Stumped about something? Hit the hay, and you may wake up to a new way of looking at it. It’s true: You should sleep on big issues.

You need to get enough sleep to think well. “It’s the difference between firing on 4 and 6 cylinders,” Rapaport says.

It can also boost your creativity. Your rested brain is better prepared to tap into your unconscious thoughts. According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology that lets you find the best solution.

20 Tips for Better Sleep

See what to do right – and what to avoid – for better sleep.
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