New research shows How Sleep Can Benefit Health - Dispatch Weekly

October 3, 2019 - Reading time: 2 minutes

There are several ways that a good nights sleep can benefit the body and the brain. As well as making you feel well-rested and ready for the day ahead, there are lots of other benefits too.

Detox for the brain: Whilst you are sleeping it gives your brain the chance to recover from a busy and stressful day. The neurons of the brain shrink to around half size which widens the channels allowing waste to travel faster to the liver where it can be expelled at quick speed, around twice as fast as usual.

Consolidation of the memory: Another interesting event which takes place while sleeping is memory consolidation. Events from the day are repeatedly replayed and remembered throughout the night which helps to fully form memories. Without this phase memories are either not fully formed, or maybe not formed. Experts from Mattress Firm say that this is vitally important when learning new skills. A study using mice found that mice which were trained for one hour followed by a period of sleep actually learned more than mice which were trained for three hours but not permitted to sleep. The reason for this is that connections are formed between neurons more successfully during sleep.

Athletic performance enhancement: Studies from a Stanford college discovered that football players saw significant improvements in their sprint times and stamina during training after enjoying 10 hours of sleep per night over a 7 or 8 week period. They also felt less tired during the day.

Weight loss: The same part of the brain is responsible for sleep and metabolism, so it’s little surprise that people who were dieting lost more weight when they enjoyed plenty of sleep, as opposed to others who experienced sleep deprivation. There was also a correlation between less sleep and an increased feeling of hunger.

Mood enhancement: According to research, an extra hours sleep per night has a great impact on daily happiness – even more than an increase in income.

Pain management: According to research, sleep is also a great way to reduce chronic pain – just as effective as medication.`

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.