The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). And there is no denying the importance of a good night’s sleep. It can affect your health, productivity, and happiness. A good night’s sleep improves concentration, memory and learning. It helps maintain a consistent mood, avoiding mood swings that come with insomnia.
Getting enough sleep is essential to good health and well-being. Many hormones are secreted during sleep, affecting growth, energy, metabolism and endocrine functions.
Sleep deprivation may negatively impact our immune systems, and many studies have show that it may contribute to obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep is also associated with increases in anger, anxiety and depression.
Most people require 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but it varies from person to person. If you are getting enough sleep, you will wake up feeling refreshed and will not feel tired during the day.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.