Short on sleep? Here’s why rest is crucial to your overall health

New study suggests too much or too little sleep could negatively affect heart health

With the world in a bit of an upheaval, a large number of Americans have reported having trouble sleeping. However, in case you needed a friendly reminder, here are some of the many ways a good night of sleep benefits your overall health.

“A lack of quality sleep not only affects how we feel during the daytime, but can also impair our immune system function, which is vital in protecting us from common viral illnesses,” Dr. Matthew Schmitt told CNN.

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Some of the benefits sleep provides:

Lower risk of disease

Sleep can help stave off diseases. But, experts note that too much or too little sleep can lead to problems. However, a solid night of shuteye can help your cells repair themselves, reporting from CNN notes.

Improves cognitive function

We all know the feeling of brain fog that comes on when you don’t get enough rest. That’s because sleep helps our ability to think clearly, learn and remember.

“Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. It dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, the locus of decision-making and impulse control,” according to WebMD.

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Stress reducing

Stress management may help you sleep better. And sleeping better can also reduce stress. While that can be harder during uncertain times, experts recommend writing down some of your worries on a piece of paper, then setting it aside for tomorrow.

Maintain a healthy weight

Getting sleep can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

“Sleeping too little prompts people to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods,” WebMD notes.