Sleep is Essential!

It is a well known fact that sleep is highly beneficial to your health. According to a recent article by the Harvard Medical School, not getting an adequate amount of sleep can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the power of your body’s immune system. If you happen to have an occasional spell of insomnia, this isn’t a reason for worry. However, people who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation have major causes for concern. A recent survey discovered that 75% of people only get 6 hours of sleep a night. 7-9 hours is much better.

The Harvard Medical School provides six reasons why people should get more sleep:

1. Sleep helps with learning and memory. “Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In various studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.”

2. Metabolism and weight. How our bodies process and store carbohydrates can be altered by sleep or lack of. Sleep deprivation can also alter hormones that affect your appetite.

3. Safety. Not having enough sleep can hurt your performance at work or in life. Medical errors, road accidents, etc. can often be avoided through an extra hour of sleep.

4. Mood. Your mood can be greatly affected by a loss of sleep. Irritability, impatience, lack of concentration, etc. are characteristics of those who lack on their sleep.

5. Cardiovascular Health. More serious sleep disorders can lead to hypertension, increased stress, irregular heartbeat, and more. Sleep, sleep, sleep. It will keep your heart healthy.

6. Disease. Immune function can be altered when there is sleep deficit.

These are just a few reasons why getting enough sleep is essential to one’s health. We all lead busy lives and can forget to take time to relax and have fun.

It is a good habit to take an hour or two to decompress before going bed to calm your mind from racing with work or from being over-stimulated by the computer. Rest and relax before going to bed. Or read a book. Have a pleasant couple of hours before you hit the pillow. You’ll be in a better and calmer state of mind and that should translate into a better and deeper night’s rest.