A good night’s sleep is priceless as it sets the tone for a whole new day! Sleep is essential for your body, your mind, your interactions, your safety, and overall, a good quality of life. This blog explores all the factors that you can address so you can get a good night’s sleep.
The Importance of Sleep
There is a whole array of processes that take place while you sleep, which is why good sleep is primordial for the human body. Here are some ways in which sleep interacts with different body systems:
- Healthy sleeping supports brain functions like memory, learning, productivity, attention, and creativity
- It assists growth and development in childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy, and even when aiming to gain muscle mass
- Healthy sleep helps the body deal with inflammation
- It’s involved in the healing and repair of your heart, blood vessels, joints, and muscles
- Improves stamina and performance
- Maintains healthy hormonal balance. Sex hormones, growth hormone, and hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin) are disrupted with the presence of sleep disturbances
- Helps you lose more body fat and maintain a healthy body weight
- Keeps blood sugar balanced while sleep deficiency results in higher than normal blood sugar levels
- Allows your immune system to work optimally
- Helps control your emotions, your mood, your impulsivity, and your reactivity to stress
- Enables more positive interactions with others since mood regulation is involved
- Keeps you alert, decreasing your risk of accidents
How Much Sleep Should You Get?
People’s bodies differ according to their lifestyle, metabolism, and health. So there is not a set amount of sleep time that every adult should get. Some people are able to thrive with 5 to 6 hours of total sleep, others have fewer than 7 hours of sleep but need to nap during the day, and others are only fully rested with over 8 hours of sleep.
- However, adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night on average
Children and adolescents need more sleep due to the fact that their bodies are still developing. This is the amount of sleep that minors should get:
- Teenagers: 8 – 10 hours
- 6 – 12 year-olds: 9- 12 hours
- 3 – 5 year-olds: 10 – 13 hours
- 1 – 2 year-olds: 11 – 14 hours
- Infants: 4 -12 months: 12 – 16 hours
How Do You Know If You’re Getting A Good Night’s Sleep?
As mentioned above, the amount of needed sleep really depends on the individual, her/his physical health, and state throughout the day. A good indicator of a good night’s sleep is waking up well-rested and ready to start your day. You should feel alert shortly after waking up and, generally, in a good mood.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might not be getting enough sleep. So it’s time to listen to your body!
- Do you feel that you need to drink more than 1 cup of coffee?
- Do you feel sleepy during the day while reading or sitting down?
- Do you feel sleepy when you are in front of the computer or watching TV?
- Do you feel tired or very cranky when you wake up?
A good night’s sleep is not only a matter of quantity but also quality. The goal is uninterrupted deep sleep. It’s important to establish sleep hygiene habits and be aware of all sleep disruptors that may be affecting your sleep cycle. Now that you understand the critical role that sleep plays in your life and how much sleep you need, you must guard the quality of your sleep as if you were guarding a hallowed treasure.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor