There are many benefits to sleep, including some that may surprise you. For one, sleep improves your memory. During sleep you can strengthen memories or skills learned while you were awake. Another is sleep can help curb inflammation. Research suggests that people who get less than six hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who sleep more. For athletes, being a winner is also a surprising benefit to sleep.
A Stanford University study found that college football players who slept around 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina. One final surprising benefit to sleep is it can help you avoid car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance.