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Positive Impacts of Good Sleep

There is a great amount of research on sleep and its impact, and there are many resources available for those seeking it. However, what you probably most need to know is that adequate sleep (average of 7–9 hours/night) has been linked to the following positive impacts:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Source: Harvard Health Publications:Importance of Sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep, accessed on 12/15/09

Negative Impacts of Sleep Deprivation

Not surprisingly, there are many documented consequences for sleep deprivation. Among them:

  • Reduced decision-making skills
  • Poorer memory
  • Reduced concentration
  • Reduced work efficiency
  • Shortened attention span
  • Increased risk for weight gain, depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced alertness
  • Poorer judgment
  • Reduced awareness of the environment and situation
  • Slower than normal reaction time

Watch lecture by Dr. James Maas, Ph.D.  –Author of the New York Times Best Seller, “Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance” (Viewing is restricted to faculty, staff & students. DND authentication is required.)

Last Updated: 8/4/15