5 Surprising Health Benefits of Good Sleep

From boosting immunity to aiding in tissue repair, there are so many hidden perks to good sleep. Read more to discover all five!


Getting good sleep is about feeling rested and having enough energy, but it is also about supporting our health as best we can. Did you know that getting good sleep is actually associated with improved immunity, fighting inflammation, and more? It’s true, and fortunately, we've found some research to explain why this is the case, as well as some other excellent benefits!

In this article, we’ll uncover five surprising benefits of getting good sleep every night. From weight management to tissue repair, let’s explore some of the most unexpected reasons why we should all strive for a solid eight hours every night.

1: Maintaining a Healthy Weight

One of the first benefits that may be surprising to some is that good sleep can actually help with maintaining a healthy weight and even losing weight. It’s been proven that disturbed sleeping patterns can lead to snacking more than expected, especially on fatty foods. Maintaining a good sleep routine is essential if you’re looking to lose weight, maintain your weight, or even looking to bulk up if you’re training in the gym (Source: PubMed).

Even more importantly, studies have proven that sleep deprivation can actually enhance the challenges people face in fighting obesity. If you are overweight or simply looking to improve your health, then it is vital to get enough sleep—not just in duration but also in quality. You should aim for undisturbed sleep for a total of eight hours or more so you wake up rested and your other healthy habits are not overshadowed by poor sleep.

2: Enhance Your Performance

Because sleep is connected to how we function, sleep also affects our performance—both physically and mentally. That’s right: if you don’t sleep well and you perform poorly on the field, it might be because of your poor rest. One article in a sports medicine journal confirms that sleep loss ahead of a major competition can actually lead to poor performance in any sport. The reason that this limits the physical potential of the individual is that inadequate sleep can mimic the impact of overtraining on the body, leading to poor physical readiness and maybe even soreness.

However, sleep loss and poor sleep quality can also impact mental performance. Sleep is essential, after all, for coding memories, so if you find yourself struggling to remember something after losing sleep, that could be why. That’s why so many teachers tell their students to get a good night’s rest—it’s essential for them to perform well!

3: Support Your Immune System

An amazing but often unknown fact about sleep is that the better your sleep, the more you support your immune system. When you sleep at night, your body is tasked with recovering from the day’s events, helping you prepare for the next day. However, if you lose sleep, you may find yourself producing even more white blood cells than is normal and, ultimately, all leading to your body becoming stressed out.

People who sleep less than five hours per night are more likely to get sick from a cold than those who sleep more than seven hours, proving how vital sleep is for our immune system. Studies also show that the better your sleep, the more effective your vaccines may be in the long term, and the stronger your body will become to fend off other illnesses. So, if you want to have super immunity, make sleep a priority in your life.

4: Fight Inflammation

A fantastic and often hidden secret benefit of good sleep is that it helps fight inflammation. Just like your body will produce more white blood cells during periods of poor sleep, your body will also become more inflamed the more you struggle to get adequate rest. That’s right: if you struggle with inflammation, it might be because you aren’t getting good rest or even enough hours of sleep per night. One reason for this is the production of cytokines, which are our body’s defenses against illnesses and other concerns.

If you encounter sleep disturbances, this can actually dysregulate your immune system, leading to more inflammation. That means if you’re woken up at night, have trouble falling asleep, have bad dreams, or have less REM sleep over time, you’ll experience more inflammation of your body’s tissue. It’s your body’s way of saying that you’re stressed out and need some quality shut-eye. That's why it is crucial for us to get good sleep: to fight inflammation and give our bodies the support they need to protect us!

5: Tissue Repair

A final but often unknown fact about sleep is that good sleep can help support tissue repair. While we are dreaming, our bodies are hard at work to support us, ensuring that we restore any damaged tissues, especially our muscles. That’s why we often see less healing when we are sleep-deprived! If you want to heal your body properly, you’ll need to sleep more. It’s why athletes sleep—often more than eight hours—after a good training session in the gym: they are healing and recovering, ensuring their body recovers quickly.

A study on athletes and people in the military showed that sleep disturbances can actually lead to more significant muscle injuries because of a lack of quality sleep (Source: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport). It’s because poor sleep leads to more inflammation and a stress response rather than the needed cellular healing that comes with seven or more hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep. Regardless of your athletic abilities, it is a hidden benefit that can help us all as we strive for a healthy lifestyle.


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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