4. 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 co-directs 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.
5. 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.
6. Revs You Up
Get enough sleep, and you’ll have enough energy to do all kinds of things. A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who slept better also had more sexual desire.
7. Makes Tough Decisions Easier
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 four and six cylinders,” Rapoport says.
It can also boost your creativity. Your rested brain is better prepared to tap into your unconscious thoughts. And that helps you find the best solution.