Sleeping 101

There are a lot of myths about sleep out there.  For example, most people would think that quantity of sleep is better than quality, or that you can get over a sleep-lacking week by snoozing on the weekends.  But, the myths out there are not only inaccurate – they can be harmful to your health!  Sleeping is probably one of the most important, most productive activities you can do in a 24-hour day.  After all, it can help you improve your brain and heart function and immune system health, improve creativity, and manage your weight and emotions.

People who aren’t sleeping enough often feel that they’re too busy to get the proper amount of shut-eye.  But, a lot of people don’t understand just how important it is to get a lot of good-quality sleep.  For example, young adults (that’s 18-25) need seven to nine hours of sleep.  And, high schoolers need even more sleep than that.  And, the people who can get by on six hours of sleep are few and far between: only about 3% of the population can properly function on that much shut-eye.  So, why is sleeping so important?  Let’s take a look at the basics of cutting Z’s.

Not Sleeping Is Bad For You

You probably didn’t need an article to tell you that you really should be getting some sleep.  But, as it turns out, not getting enough quality pillow time is detrimental to your health and well-being.  As you can imagine, sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of energy during the day, as well as a lack of motivation.  And, you may feel more down in the dumps; people who don’t get enough sleep may be at a higher risk for depression.  In addition to those everyday problems, you may eventually suffer from a poor immune system, weight gain, premature aging, and increased risk for a whole host of diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

Sleeping And Weight Management

Not sleeping enough can actually add inches to your waistline.  Everyone is familiar with that afternoon slump feeling.  But, you may not realize that when you feel tired, you crave more sugar.  This is your body’s attempt to substitute fast energy for real energy.  Plus, when you don’t sleep, your body loses the ability to effectively regulate your appetite.  So, not sleeping and overeating go hand in hand.  That’s why you’re better off hitting the sack earlier than later.

You Don’t Realize You’re Not Sleeping Enough

The chances are, if you’re sleep deprived, you may not even realize it.  In fact, some of the regular things that we tend to associate as struggles of working life are actually serious signs of sleep deprivation.  For example, needing an alarm clock to wake up on time actually means you may not be sleeping enough.  And, if you get sleepy when you’re in a warm room or a boring meeting, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep either.  Even if you have the desire to sleep in on the weekends, you’re probably not hitting the hay when you should be.  So how can you get enough shut-eye?  Experts say the best ways are to stick to a regular sleeping schedule, get exercise, eat well, and get into a relaxing bedtime routine.  All of these things can help you sleep better, every night.

Rebecca Thompson

Rebecca Thompson

Staff Writer at New Review HQ
Rebecca Thompson

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