Getting enough sleep is important to your health and overall well-being. Yet often in today’s busy world, we sacrifice sleep to get everything else done. Here are just a handful of reasons why you need to bring sleep back to the top of your priority list.
Improved Function: While you sleep at night, your brain and body are resetting and balancing. Dr. Merrill Mitler, a sleep expert and neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), says that sleep deprivation affects your body on a molecular level, your energy balance, intellectual function, alertness, and mood. Sleep helps you think more clearly and have better reflexes.
Improved Focus: Loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of reasoning. Tired people are often less productive and lack attention to detail. The brain chooses to focus on the imperatives, and little things go to the wayside. A great example of this is tired people behind the wheel of a vehicle. The lack of focus puts them at a much higher risk of traffic accidents.
Improved Health: Research has proven that lack of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, obesity, and infections. “Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies,” says Dr. Michael Twery, another sleep expert at NIH. “It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.” Hormones are also released while you sleep that help repair cells and affect your body weight.
Although personal needs vary, it is generally recommended that adults get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Children require closer to ten hours of sleep, and infants need a whopping sixteen hours. To assist you in getting those solid hours of sleep, the NIH suggests limiting caffeine, distractions, electronics, and bright light before bedtime.
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