The health benefits of enough sleep

Burning the candle at both ends affects people's health, with studies showing sleep deprivation increases the risk of stroke and accidents.

- Improved cognitive function. Research suggests lack of adequate sleep affects judgment, alertness and concentration. One's ability to recall information is also affected.

- Cardiovascular benefits. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

- Weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight. Sleep deprivation affects impulse control, leaving the tired unable to squash cravings for comfort food. Studies have found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. The food chosen also contained twice as much fat as that chosen by people who slept the recommended eight hours.

- Lower accident risk. The sleep-deprived are at a higher risk of injury due to accidents. The 2016 Sleep Health Survey showed five per cent of those who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel had had a motor vehicle accident.

- General wellbeing. Getting enough sleep improves mood. Chronic sleep deprivation has also been linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

(Source: Sleep Health Foundation)

Source AAP

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