The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best and contrary to popular belief, the amount of sleep a person needs does not decrease with age.
Millions of people do not get enough sleep and many suffer from lack of sleep. Surveys conducted by the National Sleep Foundation show that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders and 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month.
The effects of sleep deprivation and chronic lack of sleep include:
- Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
- Moodiness and irritability
- Reduced creativity and problem-solving skills
- Inability to cope with stress
- Reduced immunity; frequent colds and infections
- Concentration and memory problems
- Weight gain
- Impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents
- Difficulty making decisions
- Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems
Why do we need sleep?
*It helps us live longer. Studies show that people who get seven plus hours a night live longer than those that don’t. Our bodies wear down faster and we don’t live as long if we don’t get our sleep.
*Sleep Reduces Stress. When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
*Sleep reduces inflammation. The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age. Just as exercise and nutrition are essential for optimal health and happiness, so is sleep.