It is a well-known fact that getting quality sleep each night makes you feel and look better. Sleep is nature’s way of ensuring that the body is able to rest and recover. But, did you know that getting enough sleep can also save your life? In addition to boosting energy and protecting against a host of diseases and illnesses, getting adequate sleep can help to prevent accidents.

Avoiding Alzheimer’s

An increasing amount of research is beginning to demonstrate a link between a poor quality of sleep and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is believed to be caused by a higher chance of beta-amyloid protein plaque building up in the brain when the body does not get enough rest. This plaque is one of the distinguishing factors seen in the development of this deteriorating illness. Even if you do not develop Alzheimer’s as a result of this plaque buildup, the protein can lead to decreased mental functioning that will affect many other facets of your health.

Preventing Accidents

Anyone who has had to go through a day after a poor night of sleep understands how the brain can become foggy and not as alert. While this normally does not lead to disastrous consequences, a severe lack of sleep can cause a myriad of accidents. One study indicated that the risk of being involved in a car accident decreased when people got at least seven hours of sleep each night. Accidents in the workplace are also more common if the employees are not getting proper rest. This is why many industries, including aviation and truck driving, require that employees get a mandated amount of sleep between shifts.

Reducing Cardiovascular Disease

Not getting enough sleep can put you at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as coronary heart disease. While it is not yet completely understood how a lack of sleep can harm your cardiovascular health, not getting enough rest can trigger a host of underlying heart conditions. Sleep apnea is a particularly worrying problem because it can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Although you can never completely protect against cardiovascular disease, making a commitment to getting enough sleep each night can help to ward off potential issues.

The amount of sleep that you need varies between each individual. However, a good goal to shoot for is to try to get at least eight hours of solid sleep each night.