Hours of Sleep is absolutely essential for your health. However, when you have many commitments and obligations in a busy life, it is often the first thing that is neglected or sacrificed. This is unfortunate because sleeping well is as vital for good health as eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Keep reading this article to know why sleep is so important to your health and how long you should sleep each night.
It is Essential for Good Health:
The dream is more than just a time for your body and mind to rest. In fact, while you are asleep, your body is in the middle of very hard work. During this time, your body rebuilds the muscles you have spent during the day and cleans the harmful plaques and debris that is produced in the brain. These are vital processes that keep both the mind and the body functioning properly. Your mind also processes and responds to the emotions and important experiences of the day and stores them in memory. Sleep is also essential to regulate your emotions. In fact, in those who are deprived of sleep for only one night, the emotional response to negative feelings can be increased by 60%. Not to mention that lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to regulate essential things such as appetite control, your immune system, good metabolic function and your ability to maintain a normal body weight. Finally, sleep plays an important role in regulating your circadian rhythm, or internal clock. This internal clock works on a schedule of approximately 24 hours and regulates when you feel awake and sleepy. It can also help regulate things like metabolism, immune function and inflammation. Not getting enough sleep, sleeping at strange times of the day and exposure to bright light at night can unbalance this internal clock and the many processes it regulates.
While you may think you have enough rest hours, not all sleep develops the same. Not only is it important to get enough sleep each night, but it is also important to have a good quality sleep. However, there is no universal definition for sleep quality. Although, it can be defined by the time it takes you to fall asleep, how often you wake up during the night, how rested you feel the next day or how much time you spend at different stages of sleep. Because a good sleep is necessary for so many aspects of good health, you should make sure that having enough sleep each night is a priority.
Summary: Having enough quality sleep is necessary for several reasons, including maintaining your immune system and metabolic function, processing memories of the day and maintaining a normal body weight.
Not Giving Priority to Sleep has Negative Health Consequences:
It is estimated that almost one third of adults and two thirds of high school students do not get enough sleep each night. Unfortunately, not having enough good quality sleep can cause damage far beyond simply feeling tired. If you deprive yourself of sleep, you are less able to make good decisions, less creative and more likely to have a car accident or die at an early age.
“This may be partially due to the fact that not getting enough sleep can infer your cognitive performance”.
One study found that having only five hours of sleep per night for several consecutive nights’ decreases mental performance to the same extent as drinking both alcohol and having a blood alcohol content of 0.06. As if that wasn’t enough, bad sleep can make you feel more negative, less productive and act less ethically at work. Even worse, having a poor quality sleep or not getting enough sleep also increases your chances of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes. And since it is the time when your body removes debris and harmful plaques from the brain, it may be the reason why bad sleep seems to be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Summary: Not getting enough sleep is linked to many negative effects, such as impaired focus and decision making and an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
The Amount of Sleep You Need Depends on Several Things.
Each individual has unique needs and preferences, and the answer to the amount of sleep you need is no different. However, the amount of sleep you need per night is largely determined by your age. The official recommendations of the time each person should sleep are broken down by age group:
Seniors (65+): 7-8 hours
Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours
Adolescents (14-17 years old): 8-10 hours
School-age children (6-13 years old): 9-11 hours
Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
Young children (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
Babies (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
However, some people may need more or less sleep than is generally recommended, depending on the following factors.
Genetics is another determining factor of how many hours of sleep you need per night. Certain genetic mutations can affect the time you need to sleep, what time of day you prefer to sleep and how you respond to sleep deprivation. For example, some people with a specific genetic mutation feel good about sleeping for about six hours, while people without it really need about eight hours, on average. And people who have other genetic mutations are more negatively affected by sleep deprivation or experience deeper sleep. Unfortunately, genetic makeup is not something you can change, and there is no practical way to know if you have any of these mutations. Therefore, it is important to simply pay attention to how you feel to determine if you are having the right amount of sleep.
Sleep quality can also affect the amount you need. If the quality of sleep is bad, it may happen that you still feel tired after sleeping the hours that are officially considered sufficient. On the contrary, if you are maintaining a good quality sleep, you may be able to function better with a few hours less sleep. Many studies have shown that short-term sleep, as well as poor quality sleep, is responsible for many negative effects related to sleep. Therefore, it is not only important to focus on getting enough time, but also getting enough sleep. In addition, many common sleep disorders can have negative effects on sleep quality, such as sleep apnea. If you regularly feel that you are not sleeping well or if you are very tired and do not know why, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor.
Summary: The amount of sleep that is needed depends on many different factors, including age, genetics and how well you sleep at night. However, between 7 and 9 hours per night is ideal for most adults.
Tips for Better Sleep:
Since quality is important, try to make sure you’re sleeping well all night. Here are some tips to improve sleep:
- Follow a regular schedule: Going to bed at the same time each night helps regulate your interior clock. Since an irregular sleep schedule has been linked to poor sleep quality and a decrease in duration.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Adopting a bedtime relaxation routine can help you get a better sleep mood. For example, it has been shown that listening to soothing music helps improve sleep quality in certain people.
- Create a comfortable environment: Sleeping in a quiet, dark room at a comfortable temperature can help you sleep better. Being too active before bedtime, too hot or in a noisy environment is related to bad sleep.
- Minimize caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: Studies have linked caffeine, alcohol and the use of nicotine with a decrease in sleep quality. Try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
- Reduce the use of electronic devices: Excessive use of cell phones and electronic equipment has been associated with poor sleep quality. Even exposure to bright lights in the room before bedtime can negatively affect sleep.
Be more active: Studies have shown that being inactive is associated with lower quality sleep, and on the contrary, exercising during the day can help you sleep better at night. Practice meditation: Meditation and relaxation training can help improve sleep quality and brain function, although research in this regard is not clear.
Summary: Sleeping well is important to stay healthy and rest. Having habits such as minimizing caffeine intake and sleeping at regular times can help.
The amount of sleep you need varies for each person and is affected by several factors. However, for most adults, sleeping between 7 and 9 hours per night is the ideal time. Pay attention to how you feel during the day to determine if you are sleeping for the right amount of time for yourself. If you are getting enough sleep, you should feel awake and energized during the day. If on the other hand, you feel that you are slower or often tired, you may have to sleep more. To make the most of bedtime, create good habits, such as minimizing the intake of caffeine and alcohol, following a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleeping environment.