If sleep's health and longevity benefits aren't enough to get you in bed earlier, these 15 surprising ways it solves your life problems might. If nothing else, consider this list your best excuse ever to hit the snooze button tomorrow. (And BTW, they're all backed by science.)
1. Your period isn't as painful.
If this is already a major problem for you—which it is for a lot of us—think back to how much sleep you got last night … and the night before that ... and … Notice a pattern? If you're not sleeping enough, you could be upping the ante on how much pain you feel during that dreaded time of the month. Poor sleep habits have been shown to make menstrual cramps worse. Do your ovaries a favor by logging a few more Z's!
2. You're less likely to get sick.
Sleeping eight hours (or more, if you can, and if you manage to do this, LMK how?) could keep you from coming down with the same hacking cough all your office mates have. Studies show more sleep means stronger immunity—even when you're directly exposed to germy viruses during flu season! There's a huge link between getting enough sleep and not getting sick as often as folks who skimp on the elixir of life. Do your immune system a favor and take more naps.
3. You make fewer mistakes.
Protect yourself from reply-all fails and botched judgment calls by calling it a night before last call. Science says: We make far more mistakes when we're tired.
4. You're more able to shrug off stress.
After a full night's sleep, you're much less sensitive to the stresses of everyday life. That nasty look someone gave you en route to work this morning? That frustrating text from your ex? You'll be far more equipped to manage these minor frustrations if you've cycled through enough REM stages.
5. You look, feel, and think younger.
You know a decent night's sleep gives you more energy and helps reduce under-eye baggage. But it also keeps your brain from acting like it belongs to your grandmother. One study tracking the activity inside a group of twentysomethings' skulls found that their neurons fired the same way a 60-year-old's would.
6. You're less bothered by noise.
Sirens. Car honks. That chatty coworker. OMG, that stupid ping on someone else's phone. Not having slept enough makes you much more sensitive to noise. Sleep in more often—or get in bed earlier—and you'll find that these audible annoyances start bugging you less.
7. You're more willing to go out of your comfort zone.
Things legit seem more rife with risk when we're running on low sleep. Apparently, this is especially the case for women. The response is designed to keep us surviving, but when we're always on the lookout for danger, we're less likely to try new things and have fun.
8. You're less convinced everyone hates you.
Sleep deprivation can make us more paranoid others could have it in for us, don't like us, or are totally judging us right now. Consider how much rest you got before concluding the gals at the Starbucks table next to you are whispering about how horrid your hair looks.
9. You're more willing to help others out.
Depriving your brain of enough REM cycles can make you less altruistic. Makes sense, considering you can't effectively help anyone else if you haven't first helped yourself. If you're running on too little sleep and someone asks you to do them a huge favor, try asking if your assistance can be slated for a different day. No use courting further frustration and building resentment when sleep deprivation's apt to make you feel far more put upon by the request.
10.You can actually concentrate.
The fewer hours of sleep you get, the more likely you are to get distracted by—OMG, LOOK AT THIS DOG. Really, though. It ruins your ability to focus on all tasks at hand. (Work and fun included.) Sleep more and boost your odds of remembering where you left your phone. (Or what to buy your friend for that birthday dinner you haven't forgotten about.)
11. Your belt size could get smaller.
Regularly getting enough sleep has been linked to a lower risk for obesity, in part because we're less likely to overeat when we're rested. Also, because we have more energy to work out. Makes sense!
12. Your heart's healthier.
13. Your blood sugar's more balanced.
Just one night of poor sleep can throw off our body's ability to regulate blood sugar. Give yourself permission to wind down on the earlier side to help keep your main source of fuel from spiking or falling too drastically.
14. You're less seduced by sugar.
There's a reason chocolate fudge brownies sound so much more delicious when you're exhausted. Not only are we less capable of controlling ourselves around sugary treats when we lack the energy required for self-restraint, but the foods we associate with pleasure literally excite our brain's reward centers more when we haven't had a good night's sleep. Log a few more hours if you'd like to make those cupcakes seem a little less captivating.
15. You fight less with people you love.
Better rest means better relationships. When we have more energy, we're more capable of restraining impulses to explode at a partner—or a friend—who's pissed us off. (Again: science.) Plus, we're less easily annoyed after a night of rejuvenation.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.