Health Benefits of Sleep – A Real Eye-Opening Analysis

by Jonathan

For anyone who loves sleeping, this article will make you feel good about it. For those of you who try to cut down your sleep time as much as possible, this is going to be an eye-opener (excuse the pun).

The health benefits of sleep extend far beyond the mere fact that they help you feel better by reducing your tiredness. The effect of sleep on your short and long term health are far-reaching and massive. We’ll go over some of these benefits in this post.

father mother and boy sleeping

Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

The connection between sleep and weight loss seems counter-intuitive: you expect people who are more active, by sleeping less, to burn more calories and lose weight faster than those who sleep a lot. The reality is that they lose weight slower or not at all. If you want to get thinner, you need to get enough sleep. Simple as that.

Sleep Helps You To Reduce Stress

We all know how cranky we can be when we don’t get enough sleep. We feel stressful, irritable, and we often take it out on those closest to us. One of the ways to prevent this from happening is to get sufficient sleep.

The problem is that stress is also one of the causes of insomnia, something which perpetuates the cycle of bad sleep and increases your stress even further. Take action to minimize stress and you will be able to sleep better and find that your feel calmer and happier.

Keeps your Appetite Under Control

One of the reasons why sleep is important for weight loss is that a deficit of it increases appetite. When you don’t sleep enough, your hormonal balance changes, hunger hormones increase and satiety hormones decrease. This happens even after a single night of bad sleep. Naturally, if you continue to sleep poorly, you may find yourself eating way too much and gaining weight quickly.

Makes You More Productive and a Better Worker

The cost of poor sleep may be measured in dollars and cents (or any other currency for that matter) because it has a direct influence on workers’ productivity.

A study which looked at about 4,000 employees found that the cost of fatigue related lack of productivity is $1,967 per worker each year [1]. Naturally, this isn’t just a cost for the employers. It can also damage your chances of a promotion or raise or, if you’re self-employed, cost you directly.

Improves Memory

If simple facts allude you suddenly or details which you feel you should know are suddenly hard to bring to mind, there’s a good chance that you need to get more sleep. Research has shown that adequate sleep is important for neural plasticity and memory processes. While it’s unclear exactly how much sleep influences your memory, it is clear that there is such a connection [2].

Improves your Immune System and Fights Inflammation

Sleep may be important to maintain the health of your immune system. As studies show, sleep helps to regulate anti-inflammatory elements in your body and has a positive effect on your immune system [3], [4]. This can have a major impact on your life and may effect the development of such issues as arthritis, blood pressure, and various immunological problems.

Fights Depression

If you feel down and can’t seem to improve your mood, a good night’s sleep may be the very best thing for you. Sleep is an excellent weapon against depression [5]. The effects of depression on your quality of life can be tremendous. So, make sure you get enough sleep each night and you may have a more positive outlook on things.

Improves Focus, Learning Ability, and Attention

If you find that your mind is wondering, that you can’t maintain proper attention for any length of time, and that you suddenly make mistakes that you shouldn’t have done, lack of sleep may be the cause.

Getting enough sleep helps you to concentrate more fully, to avoid silly mistakes on tests, and to learn new material. It makes you more attentive and improves your thought processes. This is true whether you’re still in school or whether you need to be attentive on the job.

Health Benefits of Sleep Are Many And Varied

The health benefits of sleep are varied. Some effect your quality of life and others your health directly. I hope that I’ve shown you why you must dedicate more of your time to sleep and work to improve the quality of it. It can make your life much better and healthier too.


1. The cost of poor sleep: workplace productivity loss and associated costs. Rosekind MR, Gregory KB, Mallis MM, Brandt SL, Seal B, Lerner D. J Occup Environ Med. 2010 Jan;52(1):91-8.

2. Some considerations on sleep and neural plasticity. Tononi G, Cirelli C. Arch Ital Biol. 2001 Apr;139(3):221-41.

3. Neuroimmunologic aspects of sleep and sleep loss. Rogers NL, Szuba MP, Staab JP, Evans DL, Dinges DF. Semin Clin Neuropsychiatry. 2001 Oct;6(4):295-307.

4. Effects of sleep and circadian rhythm on the human immune system. Lange T, Dimitrov S, Born J. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Apr;1193:48-59.

5. Sleep and depression. Tsuno N, Besset A, Ritchie K. J Clin Psychiatry. 2005 Oct;66(10):1254-69.