Why is sleep so important? The fact is, sleep is just as important to your health as diet and exercise. Sleep deprivation can cause many health issues, increase stress and even cause you to gain weight. The duration of sleep needed varies with age, but if you’re an adult, you need at least 7 hours of sleep every night. In this post, you will learn the importance of sleep, and more importantly, how to get enough sleep.
Why is Sleep Important?
Lack of sleep can result in physical and mental health problems
Lack of sleep has been identified as a risk factor in various chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and stroke. Sleep restriction also affects insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Your immune system is also impaired by a lack of sleep, making you more susceptible to illnesses. Inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease are more prevalent in people that don’t sleep well. Lack of sleep has also been correlated with up to 90% of people that suffer from depression. Insomnia and severe sleep deprivation is also linked to suicide risk. Lack of sleep may also affect your ability to interact socially and process emotional information from others.
Lack of sleep can reduce physical performance
Not getting enough sleep can affect accuracy, speed and reaction times for people that play sports, and reduces stamina and physical performance for everyone. There is a marked effect on strength and physical ability in people that do not get the amount of sleep their body requires.
Lack of sleep causes reduction in mental performance
Lack of sleep affects brain functions — especially concentration and cognition, which can have a deleterious effect on performance and productivity. Good levels of sleep can improve memory and problem-solving skills.
Lack of sleep can make you fat
Children who have a poor sleep cycle or don’t get enough rest are almost 90% more likely to be overweight than their counterparts that sleep enough. Adults with a lack of sleep are almost 60% more likely to be over their recommended weight. This increase in weight problem has mainly been attributed to the production of hormones that regulate appetite being disrupted due to poor sleeping habits.
How to Get Enough Sleep
- Set a defined bedtime and stick to it. Strive for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Some people need more sleep and others need less. Find what works best for you and be disciplined on keeping a consistent sleep schedule each day.
- Don’t drink caffeine-containing beverages such as energy drinks and coffee at least 6 hours before bedtime.
- Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep. Find ways to de-stress before heading to bed such as meditation, yoga, or taking a warm bath or shower.
- Follow a regular exercise program like FITin56. The benefits of regular exercise include helping relieve stress and promoting better sleep.
- Do not take your laptop or phone to bed. Make your room a place to relax and sleep and avoid working in your bedroom.
- Turn the lights off or down low, listen to soothing music if necessary, or do deep-breathing exercises to relax so that you can fall asleep.
Sleep is extremely important for optimal health. Following the tips in this article should help you get enough sleep.
If you are still having sleeping problems and cannot figure out how to get enough sleep on your own, you may want to consult your doctor to be checked for any underlying health problems. Mental problems such as depression and anxiety can also be treated to improve sleep.
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you sleep if he/she believes this will help you sleep better, but try not to rely on these. You might also want to try a sleep therapist who can help you identify the problem(s) causing your lack of sleep.