The Importance Of Sleep

Getting enough sleep is vital in order to maintain optimal health and well-being. In modern times, sleep is often overlooked, and the real necessity for adequate sleep is not embraced by many people. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours per night and for teenagers it is 8-10 hours. Most teenagers do not get enough sleep per night, with the average amount being 6.5-7.5 hours (and sometimes even less.) 

Here are some reasons to start prioritising your sleep more: 

1: Stronger Immune System

Enough sleep  can help boost your immune system, preventing you from getting sick as often. 

2: Increased social and emotional intelligence

Getting adequate sleep allows you to more easily recognise and understand other people’s emotions and expressions. This leads to more empathy and healthier relationships. 

3: Reduces risks of depression

Although getting enough sleep can’t completely cure depression, it can help to manage it. Being well-rested can lead to increased levels of energy, optimism, and better focus. 

4: Better productivity and concentration

Sleep has been linkedto several brain functions including concentration, productivity and cognition. Not getting enough sleep can slow down your thought process, leading to lower alertness and less concentration. This increases confusion since it is difficult to focus and pay attention when you don’t get enough sleep. 

5: Lower risks of weight gain

Studies have shown a relationship between obesity and poor sleeping patterns. It impacts a person’s desire and/or ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

6: Lower risks of heart diseases

Heart diseases can be caused due to high blood pressure. Getting adequate sleep each night allows the body to regulate blood pressure, promoting better overall health. 

Debunking myths around sleep:

  1. Your body gets used to inadequate sleep
    Research has found that a lack of sleep takes a toll on your health and well-being both in the short and long term. While a few nights of inadequate sleep leads to fatigue; in the long run, more serious consequences begin to develop. This includes impaired decision-making, memory, focus, and creativity. A lack of sleep also affects metabolism, cardiovascular system, immune system, hormone production and mental health. 
  2. Getting 5 hours of sleep or less per night is okay
    Studies show that most people need anywhere between 7-10 hours of sleep per night in order to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
  3. It doesn’t matter what time you sleep, as long as you get enough sleep
    Studies have shown that the timing of sleep matters. It is best to sleep during the night, instead of catching up on sleep by taking extended naps throughout the day. Sleeping at night helps align the body’s internal clock with the external environment. This is important for having good-quality sleep. 
  4. Napping makes up for a lack of sleep at night
    As mentioned above, napping is not an adequate substitute for quality sleep at night. While short naps can provide a boost of energy, extended naps can mess with sleep schedules, making it hard to fall asleep at night. Extended naps can also lead to waking up feeling disoriented and sluggish. The best time for a nap is 30 minutes or less and early in the afternoon. 

Overall, sleeping enough does wonders for overall health and well-being. Even though getting 7-10 hours of sleep every single night can be extremely challenging considering the busyness of modern-day life, it is important to try to get adequate sleep most nights.