Everyone loves a good night of sleep. You should not feel guilty about wanting to indulge in a night of quality rest. Sleep plays an important role in how you look and feel. It is proven that adequate sleep is vital for a host of physical and mental functions. Here are three reasons why getting enough sleep is so important:

Sleep Improves Concentration and Productivity

Sleep is critical for the proper functioning of the brain. The right amount of sleep improves productivity, concentration, mental cognition and performance across a wide metric of functions. Deep sleep strengthens long-term memory by strengthening neural connections. Without this type of restful sleep, your memory will be hazy and disjointed. By consolidating the memories of the day, your brain is able to process new information and compartmentalize it for further use. Sleep deprivation is similar to the effects of intoxication. It is no surprise that sleep-deprived doctors are a risk to patients. This is why doctors are encouraged to get sleep when they can while working a shift.

Sleep Improves Immune Function

You can boost your health by taking care of your body with proper rest. Skimping on your rest can have a detrimental effect on the function of your body’s immune system. Your body will produce fewer cytokines if it lacks sleep. These are a specific type of protein that stimulates an immune response in the body by targeting various kinds of infection and chronic inflammation. In fact, someone who sleeps for less than seven hours a night is three times more likely to get a cold. If you have trouble getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you can reverse some of the damage with daily naps. This is especially important during cold and flu season, when germs are more prevalent, putting the body at risk of getting sick. If you do happen to become ill, getting an abundance of sleep will help you heal and get back up on your feet.

Sleep Makes You Feel Better

Poor sleep is linked to a host of diseases and health conditions. Not only does insufficient sleep contribute to inflammation in the body, but it also activates cell damage, which can increase the chances that you develop heart disease, suffer a stroke and more. Not enough sleep can also cause you to gain weight because of the effect that it has on your motivation to exercise. Sleep deprivation also causes the appetite hormones to fluctuate, leading you to take in more calories than needed. Poor sleep habits are linked to negative effects on the body’s blood sugar levels, boosting the chances that you develop type 2 diabetes. Lastly, you are more likely to suffer from mental issues, such as depression and anxiety, if your body is not getting the sleep that it needs to function at optimal levels.

There is no good reason to not get enough sleep. Your body will thank you in numerous ways for nurturing it with adequate rest. Do not take chances with your physical health and mental alertness by trying to skimp on this essential physical need.

Related: Not Sleeping Right? Here Are Some Possible Reasons Why