Sleep can often feel like yet another chore on your list. It can also be a huge source of stress if you’re tossing and turning in the wee hours of the morning. But lack of sleep is a serious issue. In fact, the CDC considers it a public health epidemic. After all, it can affect everything from our health to our driving skills, and it’s not improving.
Keep reading to find out exactly why sleep is so important and how much sleep we should be getting. If you’re not hitting that quota, it’s time to make sleep a priority—for the sake of your health.
When push comes to shove, sleep is often the first thing you sacrifice to create more time to get what you need done. But what you may not realize is that not enough sleep can be just as bad as no sleep: in fact, this sleep deprivation study showed that those who got six hours of sleep a night functioned as poorly as those who got none.
The importance of sleep can’t be understated. It helps regulate your mood, your energy levels, your cognitive function, and gives your body a much needed chance to recover. The quality and length of your sleep has a direct impact on the rest of your day, not to mention your overall health and wellness, so getting solid sleep every single night should be a top priority.
So, how much sleep do you need exactly? This age-old question has been debated by sleep experts for years. It’s true that there are rare people that can thrive on just four hours of sleep a night, but these are few and far between. For the rest of us, 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night is the official recommendation.
Quality is the key word: tossing and turning for most of the night won’t net you the same restorative benefits of deep sleep. If you have trouble going to sleep (and staying asleep), you’ll find some helpful tips further on.
A shocking number of us are sleep deprived and don’t even realize it. In fact, as many as 1 in 3 of us are not getting enough sleep and could be suffering the serious effects of sleep deprivation, which include:
Impaired motor skills
Higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and more
Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for your day-to-day life and your long term health. Making sure you get quality sleep more nights than not should be a priority in your life.
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