Did you know that humans spend about one-third of their lives sleeping? In order for your body to function properly and for you to be able to carry out various day-to-day tasks, you need to get enough sleep each night. It is a critical component of your health that has a major impact on your quality of life.
According to health professionals, the following are the recommended number of hours of sleep a day by age group:
- Newborns and infants – between 16 and 18 hours
- Preschool-aged kids – between 11 and 12 hours
- School-aged kids – at least 10 hours
- Teenagers – between 9 and 10 hours
- 18-year-olds, adults, and the elderly – between 9 and 10 hours
Important reasons why you should get enough sleep
During sleep, your body gets the rest it needs to be able to recharge and prepare for the next day. The following are reasons why adequate sleep is essential:
It is vital for longevity
Do you want to live a long and healthy life? How do you protect yourself from diseases and other threats?
Sleep plays a big role in your extending your lifespan. If you always lack sleep, your body will fail to perform its important functions that help keep you alive. You will experience a wide variety of pains and discomfort, such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, and migraines, which can prevent you from doing your usual routine. Over time, you may develop serious health problems and have an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
It can reduce your stress levels
Does your job or schoolwork demand a lot from you? Are you always worried about your finances or your relationships?
Many people have a hard time managing their stress levels. They are often restless, anxious, moody, and have trouble thinking clearly and focusing. They also experience headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms that prevent them from performing at their best. To fix that, they should find ways to improve their sleep experience. With adequate sleep, their brains can relax and recharge, helping reduce all the pressure and tension.
It enhances your mood and mental health
Do you feel cranky or groggy when you wake up after staying up so late? Do you find it difficult to get your head straight every time you only get a few hours of sleep at night?
Sleep deprivation can make it hard for you to get going in the morning. Because your brain and your body are still tired, thinking, moving, and other tasks can seem like a major challenge. They are telling you that they need more time to rest and recover for them to efficiently do their jobs. If your lack of sleep continues, being easily irritated or upset will become a norm. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues may also arise.
It helps improve your memory
Do you easily forget names, places, and other information that you read from a book or saw on television not too long ago? Are you aware that sleep deprivation can have drastic effects on your memory?
As you get closer to your senior years, it is not out of the ordinary for your memory to decline. However, if memory problems occur when you are not that old yet, you may need to pay attention to how much sleep you get each night. If you lack sleep, your brain cannot function well, causing impaired memory and cognitive function.
It is good for the heart
Have you tried checking your blood pressure levels in the morning after only getting a few hours of sleep? Do you experience increased heart rate or heart palpitations if you stay up way past your usual bedtime?
A well-rested body should not have any problem performing its many different vital functions. It also has a happy and healthy heart that is capable of pumping enough blood to be distributed to the different parts of the body, lowering the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and other health problems.
It can protect against diabetes
Do you struggle with high blood sugar levels? Do you manifest the common symptoms of diabetes, such as excessive hunger and thirst, fatigue, frequent urination, and blurred vision?
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels get to high. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as eating too much sugary foods, genetics, and autoimmune reasons. It can also be due to a lack of sleep. In one research study, it found that inadequate sleep can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, as a sleep-deprived body cannot efficiently break down carbohydrates and sugars, leading to a rise in glucose levels and eventually diabetes.
It can help in weight loss
Have you tried all the diet tips and tricks you see online but are not seeing any progress? Are you looking for a way to shed off those extra pounds without jeopardizing your health?
To lose weight healthily, you have to eat right and be physically active. You should have a balanced and nutritious diet, count your calories, and exercise regularly. What not a lot of people know though is that sleep is also crucial to an effective weight loss. If you get enough sleep each night, your body will perform better, and your metabolism, nutrient absorption, and other processes will occur without hitch.
Tips to improve your sleep
Adequate sleep is good for your overall health and wellbeing. If you are having difficulty getting the recommended amount of sleep every night, try the following tips:
- Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning.
- Avoid heavy meals and caffeine late in the day.
- Make your sleeping area quiet, clean, comfortable, dark, and not too cold or too warm.
- Do not use your phone, laptop, and other gadgets away once you are in bed.
- Do a bit of reading, listening to music, or other things to relax your body before sleep.