The Benefits of Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is more important than you think. We’ve all be around someone who is either groggy or irritable in the morning when they don’t get enough rest, but the benefits of sleep go well beyond mood. It can have a significant impact on your physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Research by the Harvard Medical School has proven that sleep is just as important for your overall health as eating, drinking and breathing. Proper rest promotes physical health, longevity and emotional stability.
If you’ve ever woken up after a great night’s sleep feeling refreshed and clear-minded, you’ll know this to be true. On the other hand, if sleep apnea or constant snoring is preventing you from getting periods of uninterrupted rest, it might be time to speak to one of our sleep test specialists.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
While the amount of sleep required varies by individual, the National Sleep Foundation has developed some general recommendations based on age. From the time we are born, our bodies undergo many physiological changes, the most dramatic of which occur in our early development years. This explains why babies and toddlers require so much sleep.
Studies have shown that people who consistently achieve the proper amount of rest based on their respective age group tend to live longer, healthier lives. If you thought sleep wasn’t important before, consider this your wakeup call.
· Newborn (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
· Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
· Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
· Pre-schoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
· School-aged (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
· Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
· Young adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
· Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
· Seniors (65+ years): 7-8 hours
How Does Sleep Help Us?
You might be wondering what, exactly, does sleep do for us that’s so vital to our well-being? Here are a few examples.
Immune System: Your immune system defends your body against illness and infection caused by stress, bacteria and other harmful contaminants. While you’re sleeping, your body produces certain protein molecules that aid your immune system in fighting infection.
The Heart: Sleep reduces the amount of physical stress your body experiences. In this resting state, the body has a chance to heal the heart and blood vessels, while also reducing stress and inflammation. Sleep also helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Growth: Healthy growth and development is vital to children and teens. It requires the release of certain hormones within the body, which can be triggered during deep sleep.
Stress: In today’s fast-paced society, sleep is more important than ever, as it helps lower blood pressure and reduces the levels of stress hormones within the body.
Mental Capacity: People who don’t get enough sleep tend to struggle to learn, stay on task and communicate effectively. They also often take longer to get things done and are more prone to making mistakes.
Weight: Sleep helps regulate the hormones that control appetite. When you’re well-rested, studies show that you’ll experience fewer cravings.
Diabetes: Research show that sleep can affect how well you process glucose, which acts as a key to energy stored in your body. Meaning fewer hours of sleep increase your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Read more about the study from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Your Mood: We all get cranky after a poor nights sleep, but when this continues for an extend period of time, it can lead to long-term mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, or you constantly wake up feeling drowsy or irritable, call our sleep clinic. We offer a range of effective snoring and sleep apnea solutions tailored to each client’s needs, and a care-for-life service to ensure consistent quality sleep improves your quality and length of life.