Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.
“Sleep used to be kind of ignored, like parking our car in a garage and picking it up in the morning,” says David Rapoport, MD, director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program.
Not anymore. Here are some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep.
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).
“If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.”
In other words if you’re trying to learn something newwhether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swingyou’ll perform better after sleeping.