Do Not Disturb: The Science-Backed Benefits Of A Good Night's Sleep

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Is there anything that feels as good as getting into bed at the end of a long day? Deep, restorative sleep is something both our bodies and minds biologically crave—and the amazing thing is that we get to do it every single day.

The reality? Our bedtimes get disrupted by nightly scrolling sessions, the kids, pets, that new TV show with a cliffhanger at the end of every episode, stress, work obligations, late dinners, the list goes on. While we know we should be aiming for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, more than one-third of Americans actually don't get enough, according to the CDC, which can mean bad news for our physical and mental health over time.

Thankfully, we've got an internal biological clock—our circadian rhythm—that nudges us when it's time to wind down and get that shut-eye. As daylight fades, our brain signals the release of melatonin to shift us into night mode and relax our bodies to sleep. We can help this natural process along with a few healthy bedtime practices, like dimming the lights and shutting off our screens. And for those nights we need a little extra help falling asleep, taking a high-quality supplement like Nature Made Melatonin one to two hours before bed can help kick our levels into high gear.

As if we needed any more convincing beyond our comfy bed, we break down why prioritizing slumber is so important below.

Click on the numbers below to see the immediate benefits of quality rest; then, hit the arrow on the left to see what could happen without one night of good sleep.

If you slept well last night...
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You’re a better learner and problem-solver

Good rest doesn’t just keep you alert and attentive—research shows that it supports memory performance, clear thinking, and complex decision making.

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Your creative juices flow

Experts agree that when the brain fog lifts thanks to restorative sleep, it's easier to tap into your creativity.

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You’re more productive

That full day’s to-do list has nothing on the energy you get from a full night’s sleep.

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You’re physically recharged and energized

Go on that morning run: Some studies have shown that longer sleep has helped athletes perform faster and with more accuracy.

If you didn’t sleep well last night...
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You feel hungrier

When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) spikes and your level of leptin (the appetite-regulating hormone) dips.

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Your reflexes slow down

It's daytime fatigue and the afternoon slump amplified. In an extreme example, driving while drowsy causes 6,000 fatal car accidents each year.

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You might miss social cues

Sleep deprivation may reduce your ability to recognize people’s emotional expressions.

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Now, click on the numbers below to see the long-term impact of quality rest; then, hit the slider arrow to see the impact of poor sleep over time.

Over time, quality sleep helps with...
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Less stress

Sleep has a direct effect on your stress hormone — high blood pressure is associated with not getting enough restorative rest.

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A stronger immune system

While you sleep, your body produces cytokines, which protect against infection-causing viruses and bacteria. Getting at least seven hours of sleep can help ward off the common cold.

Over time, poor sleep could lead to...
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A higher risk for heart disease

A review of 15 studies found that people who don’t get enough sleep are nearly 50 percent more likely to develop heart disease than people who regularly get in seven to eight hours.

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A higher risk for type 2 diabetes

One study found prediabetic symptoms in normally healthy adults after getting only four hours of sleep six days in a row. (The symptoms went away after a week of regular sleep!) And repeatedly sleeping less than six hours a night can up your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

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A link to weight gain

Studies have shown a strong tie between sleep deprivation and obesity—adults consistently sleeping fewer than five hours a night are 55% more likely to become obese.

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A link to mental health changes

It’s not just a little irritability here and there. According to reports, a lack of sleep over time may significantly affect your mood, with reports citing a link between sleep deprivation and depression.

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