We all know sleep is important, but a night of restlessness really can wreak havoc on us in ways we don’t even consider. The good news: The body is resilient AF, and can undergo major changes after just one night of perfect sleep.
So what exactly constitutes “perfect sleep”? For starters, experts recommend getting between seven and nine hours of shut-eye each night, while scientists have even pinpointed the exact bedtime to get the perfect sleep.
“A ‘good night’s sleep’ refers not only to duration but to quality of sleep as well,” says Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, medical advisor to loudcloudhealth.com.
More cortisol secretion happens when you achieve that state of uninterrupted sleep, which means you can sleep lighter and wake-up easier, something we all wish for.
The benefits of giving our bodies quality rest are endless, but nothing can give you a clearer understanding of why sleep is awesome than being blessed with a snooze session from heaven. One night of perfect sleep won’t solve all of your problems, but the physical changes you experience will give you incentive to start getting your beauty rest on a regular basis.
1Your memory improves.
After pulling an all-nighter, we turn into zombies who can’t remember the simplest of details, like what we wore yesterday or when we last closed our eyes, but after getting a good night’s sleep, our brains reward us with improved memory.
According to the Sleep Foundation, getting a good night’s rest helps us retain all kinds of information, and the areas of the brain that control accuracy and speed are more active in people who’ve slept than in those who have not.
2Your mood shifts for the better.
Unless you’re a grouch in general, a single night of quality sleep can do wonders for your disposition. While a sleepless night leaves us feeling irritable and short-tempered, getting quality shut-eye can literally alter a bad mood overnight.
3Your immune system gains strength.
While the relationship between your immune system and lack of sleep is complex, it is abundantly clear that quality sleep is directly connected to your body’s ability to fight off infection. Think about the last time you were suffering from a cold: You probably felt at least a bit of relief after taking a sick day and getting some much-needed rest.
That’s because the quality of sleep aids the body’s immune functions. The better the sleep, the more capable your body is of bouncing back and getting you back to feeling your best—and yes, one night can definitely make a huge difference.
4Your stress hormones decrease.
During sleep, the levels of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol, are lowered, which results in helping us feel less wired and anxious during the day.
5Your blood pressure drops.
Barring any other health issues, your blood pressure can drop “by about 5 to 7 points with a good night’s sleep,” according to Prevention.
6The brain retains information more easily.
An article from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute on why sleep is important highlights its impact on our ability to take in and comprehend information:
7You gain mental clarity.
Ever wake up feeling like you’re ready to take on the world? You’re probably not blessed with a superhero gene. Chances are you had a perfect night of sleep, which helps us become more productive.
According to Eva Cohen, a certified sleep science coach from Kansas-Sleep, studies found that your brain cells shrink a bit during sleep. “This allows the glymphatic system to flush out the toxins and byproducts that your brain had accumulated throughout the day,” she says. “So, you literally wake up with a clear head.”
8Your body craves less junk food.
Tricking yourself into experiencing fewer junk food cravings is an ongoing battle that many of us wind up losing, but as Shape reports, getting more sleep can help you overcome. Studies show that sleep deprivation causes us to snack on foods with high salt and sugar content due to a decrease in the level of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates the appetite. On the other hand, responding to our body’s need for proper rest helps us avoid the lure of junk food.
While there’s no such thing as a magical, healing night of sleep that instantly reverses all the negative effects of routine sleep deprivation, a single night of quality downtime will definitely show you how much your body appreciates when you treat it with the care, consideration, and respect it needs.