It’s no secret that here at The Huffington Post, we love sleep — and for good reason.
Sleep has been called the “third pillar” of health, along with nutrition and exercise. Getting the quality sleep that you need has the power to protect your physical and mental health, while skipping out on sleep can seriously hurt your health, cognition and well-being over time.
Over the past 10 years, sleep has finally become widely recognized as a critical aspect of good health, and new research has shed more light on its importance in our lives. Here’s what we’ve learned.
1. A sleeping brain is an active brain.
While you’re resting, your brain is actually in a highly active state. It processes complex information and even prepares for future actions when you’re unconscious, according to a study published last year in the journal Current Biology. It also creates new memories and consolidates older memories for easier retrieval.
A series of studies conducted by researchers from the University of Rochester also found recently that the brain is busy doing some house-cleaning while we’re asleep, clearing out damaging toxins that can contribute to neurodegeneration.
The brain engages in a little house-cleaning while we’re asleep, clearing out damaging toxins that can contribute to neurodegeneration.
“We need sleep,” Dr. Nedergaard, the study’s lead researcher, told the National Institutes of Health. “It cleans up the brain.”
2. Sleep is an important key to health.
Want to stay healthy? Then prioritizing sleep is a must.
Chronic sleep loss can add up to some pretty scary negative health impacts, including heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, mortality, depression and anxiety. Sleep loss has even been linked to an