1. The National Sleep Foundation reports that “sleepiness, whether the result of untreated sleep disorders or volitional sleep deprivation, has been identified as a casual factor in a growing number of on-the-job accidents.”
2. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, insufficient sleep has been linked to weight gain, increased stress, high blood pressure, inflammation and impaired control of blood glucose.
3. Studies suggest that just one sleepless night can impair performance as much as a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent—beyond the legal limit to drive in the U.S.
4. Did you know that sleep is important for retaining memories and information? “Your brain is working on those skills you learned during the day and are being refined and improved while you sleep,” says Dr. Robert Stickgold, an associate professor of psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “You have to get sleep the first night after you learn these things or it’s too late. The brain takes that information and sifts through it and makes sense out of it in a way we couldn’t make sense out of it if we were awake.”
5. Want to get a leg up at the gym? You might want to stop burning the midnight oil. A study published in The Journal of Sleep Medicine concludes that sleep influences nextday exercise rather than exercise influencing sleep, and a good night’s sleep can also encourage exercise participation.
6. To help combat depression and anxiety—both of which are exacerbated by sleeplessness—Mental Health America suggests changing your sleep-related behavior: set a regular bedtime, decaffeinate yourself six hours before bed, destress at the end of the day with a hot bath and make your bed a no-work zone.
7. Getting adequate and regular sleep can restore your body’s internal rhythms. If you’re interested in unconventional sleep remedies to help catch some Zs, go check out a naturopath. Lauren Beardsley, a licensed naturopathic doctor at InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., administers an intravenous therapy of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin B, which is believed to help induce shuteye. “By providing the body with adequate nutrients to support the body’s normal physiological function, we can restore balance and restore quality sleep,” said Beardsley in a recent interview.