The Importance of Sleep
Whether you're 15 or 50, you should still be getting a consistent seven to nine hours of shut eye per night in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We know we need it, so why do so many of us ( 33% to be exact) skip out on sleep? Probably because we don't realize the importance of sleep.
Sleep plays an essential role in our physical and mental health. In fact, it's just as crucial as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Here are some of the top benefits of sleep and why good sleep is so crucial to our everyday health.
Why Do We Need Sleep
1. Sleep Is Essential for Good Physical Health
So, why is sleep important? Sleep impacts our body in many ways. First, it gives our bodies time to rest and recover overnight, preparing us for the morning ahead. Good sleep can leave us feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new day. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can seriously affect one's physical health. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can lead to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased obesity and hormone imbalances.
Sleep also supports healthy growth and development, which often happens in the deeper phases of sleep, and is why REM sleep is important. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the body releases hormones during REM sleep that promote natural growth, boost muscle mass and help repair cells and tissues.
Lastly, a good night's sleep allows your immune system to remain healthy. Getting consistent amounts of rest help defend your immune system and keep it strong in the face of infections.
2. Sleep Prepares the Body for Daytime Performance
How important is sleep for our productivity? Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night can help you function your best throughout the day. Without it, your productivity tends to be lower, as well as your reaction times and ability to finish tasks.
Even just a loss of one to two hours per night can impact your functions, causing disruptions at school or work. Sleep deficiency limits one's memory and energy levels, which is why getting a quality night of sleep is essential for your best mental and physical performance.
3. Sleep Keeps One's Mental Well-Being In Check
Sleep is also essential for your brain health. As you sleep, your brain is forming new pathways to help you learn new information while also storing the old. Sleep also helps our brains make decisions and pay attention. These things become much more challenging and tend to take longer with little sleep.
Sleep deficiency has also been linked to depression, mood swings and risk-taking behavior. Without sleep, we tend to have trouble controlling our emotions and behavior, which can lead to increased anxiety, depression and stress.
Overall, sleep is essential for maintaining both physical and mental health and should be taken very seriously. Without consistent quality sleep, our body and brain suffer. So, try to make getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night a priority and give your body the rest it needs — and deserves!