Sleep is a necessity like food and water. It’s as important as good nutrition and exercise….only easier! According to sleep experts, most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night for optimal health and performance. Getting enough sleep for your body can help you in the six following ways:
1. Stronger immune system, better health, and fewer illnesses. You can fight off sickness better when you are well-rested because sleep helps maintain your immune system. Ever notice that you get colds more easily if you’re tired? You’re not alone.
2. Better mood and emotional health. Sleep helps regulate your moods. Getting enough sleep helps assure that you are at your best. It’s an intricate balance: lack of quality sleep may worsen depression or anxiety, although both can make it harder to sleep.
3. Weight management. Studies have linked sleep deficiency with unwanted weight gain. People who don’t sleep enough have bigger appetites because their levels of leptin (an appetite regulating hormone) drop. Instead of heading to bed, many people head to the refrigerator or vending machines.
4. Safer driving. You are a better driver when you are well-rested and alert. “Drowsy driving” may impair people as much as driving under the influence of alcohol. The American Automobile Association estimates that 1 in every 6 fatal car crashes is due to drowsy driving.
5. Peak productivity and academics. It is a “no-brainer” that we all learn, study, and perform better when we have adequate sleep. You’ll do better in school, and at work or volunteering, when you have enough sleep.
6. Improved relationships and sex. Relationships and romance take energy, so get your ZZZs! Too tired for romance? If you are not getting enough sleep, skillfully negotiating relationships (or having energy for sexual expression) can be difficult.