Sleep is an essential part of our lives and a basic need for everyone. It has a significant impact on our ability to cope with day-to-day life.
While there is no magic number for how much one needs because everyone is different. On average, an adult needs around seven to nine hours a night. Children need 9 to 13 hours while toddlers and babies need about 12 to 17 hours.
What are the Benefits?
1. It Improves our mood
If we don’t get enough sleep, we get moody and grumpy the next day coupled with a reduction in energy levels.
Our immune systems are like soldiers, they help us fight off illnesses. Sleep gives our body time to rest and repair itself.
3. Sleep improves memory and concentration
It helps our brains to remember, memorize and analyze important things. This can improve performance at school, especially for children and adolescents, and ensures one stays sharp and focused all day long
Not getting enough makes one prone to mistakes or even an accident especially, while operating heavy machinery or driving. To put it in perspective, 24 hours of sleep deprivation inhibits your concentration and reactions as much as reaching the drink-drive limit (a blood alcohol level of 0.1%).
4. It helps to maintain a healthy weight
Sleep deprivation may make one feel tired the next day, so they have less energy to exercise and are more likely to overeat as they will be awake for a longer time than expected. Deprivation also has an increased risk of obesity in the long term
5. Reduces the risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Poor sleep increases one’s risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
6. Reduces stress levels
The body releases stress hormones, for example, cortisol when we are stressed which can keep one awake. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can have an ‘anti-stress’ effect and inhibit what is responsible for this stress response in your body.
Not only does it help physically, it can also boost one’s emotional and mental well being. If you have insomnia, do check out this exhaustive blog on the different causes and ten things you can try to sleep better