The Importance of Sleep

health sleep Dec 15, 2021

Everybody needs sleep to function correctly, and you should make it a priority in your life. There are many reasons why getting enough quality sleep is essential: it boosts our immune system, helps us learn and remember information better, and reduces the risk of injury or accidents. This blog post will discuss how lack of sleep can affect your health and what you can do about it.

A good night's sleep is more important than you think.

Sleep is a vital function of our body and is essential for recharging our mind and body to be refreshed and ready to tackle our responsibilities the next day. Sleep, exercise, and eating a healthy diet are necessary to maintain good health. Getting enough sleep every day makes our bodies more resistant to diseases. Depriving yourself of sleep can affect your brain and thus lead to loss of concentration and focus and how you process memories.

How much sleep you should get each day depends on your age. Generally, the younger you are, the more sleep you need. The older you get, the less sleep you need. An article by Sleep Foundation has a section where they put a table indicating the number of hours of sleep different age groups require. School-age children aged 13 years or younger need at least 9 hours of sleep or more. Teenagers at ages 14 to 17 require at least 8 hours of sleep, while adults, aged 18 years old and up, need at least 7 hours.

Sleep deprivation is a thing.

Clocking in seven hours of sleep as a minimum for an adult seems easy to accomplish. However, many people are not hitting this required number of hours of sleep. An article by cdc.gov states that one out of three American adults does not get enough sleep daily. Sleep deprivation also involves low-quality sleep, such as waking up in the middle of your sleep that can happen several times throughout your rest. As mentioned by Cedars Sinai and Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation has the following symptoms:

  • Drowsiness even after waking up
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling physically weak
  • Remembering things become more difficult
  • Lowered attention span
  • Feeling drained
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to properly make decisions

Prolonged sleep deprivation can even lead to increased risk for acquiring depression, mental health problems, heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, and weakened immune system.

Several factors can contribute to sleep deprivation. Some of these factors are lifestyle choices, and some of us still choose to do them, ignoring the consequences of poor sleep habits. Some of these include:

  • Staying up late at night to do things such as watching TV or playing games
  • Not sleeping at the same hour every day
  • Working for an extended amount of time or having to work on a night shift
  • Presence of other medical conditions such as insomnia or sleep apnea
  • Stress
  • Depression

What can I do to get a good night's rest every day?

Knowing the consequences of getting poor quality sleep, you can do some things to help you sleep better during the night. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Setting a fixed hour when you should go to sleep every day. You can try going to sleep at 10:00 p.m., for example, and consciously do it every day. This habit helps in maintaining the circadian rhythm of our bodies.
  • Turn off the lights when you are about to sleep and maintain comfortable temperature settings not to disrupt your sleep.
  • Avoid eating something after dinner or drinking an alcoholic drink or something that has caffeine a few hours before you go to sleep.
  • Regulate your screen time before sleep, such as watching the television or using your computer or cellphone.
  • Try to have a comfortable bed and pillow that will let you rest comfortably.
  • Exercise to reduce stress and keep your body healthy to avoid diseases that make you have trouble sleeping.

Sleep is beneficial to our health.

Getting adequate sleep every day seems to be a luxury for some people. Some professions demand extended work hours, while others use night shifts for their employees. It appears that some people ignore the importance of sleep to chase something else, such as money. Poor sleep quality will only cost people their health in the long run. So if you find yourself in a situation where your profession doesn't demand such conditions, try your best to have a healthy sleeping habit. Sleep is essential to have optimal health and provides many benefits such as improved productivity and concentration, lower risk of acquiring diseases, increased athletic performance, and better immune function. No matter how long you try to stay awake, your body will push itself to make you sleep. Do not wait until ailments start popping up and your body breaks before you start practicing having a healthy sleep every day.

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