Why Is It Important To Get Enough Sleep?
If it seems impossible to fall asleep at night, or if you struggle with feeling tired throughout the day, then it’s possible that your body is suffering from sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep is a problem that millions of Americans face. In fact, 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some type of sleep disorder, and the health consequences of such disorders are serious.
Why is sleep so important?
Your body needs sleep in order to function correctly. Getting the right amount of sleep each night can greatly influence your physical and mental health, and it can lead to a better quality of life overall. During sleep, your body is actually working hard to repair itself, which is why you should wake feeling refreshed and renewed after a good night’s rest. Sleep helps your body to maintain healthy levels of hormones, repairs your heart, blood vessels, and tissues, triggers the body to promote normal growth, and even boosts muscle mass.
What happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep?
Besides feeling tired, groggy, and cranky, not getting enough sleep can have other, more serious side effects on your body. Sleep deficiency can depress your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections. It also puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and higher blood sugar levels. In addition, you might also feel hungrier throughout the day as a result of your hunger hormones not being balanced.
If you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, you may be experiencing long-term sleep deprivation, which can have even more far-reaching effects. For example, driving while in a sleep-deprived state can put you at a severely greater risk of an accident. In fact, driving while tired is comparable to driving drunk, as your body is unable to think clearly, stay attentive, or react quickly enough to safely avoid an accident.
What can I do to get more sleep and sleep better at night?
If you feel you have a sleep disorder, there are a few things you can do to correct this behavior to live a healthier, happier life—especially if you believe your lack of sleep is simply due to unfavorable lifestyle habits. In order to get more sleep each night and to improve the quality of your sleep, then you may want to try powering down in the hours before bed time. Looking at a phone, TV, or computer screen excessively before bed sends signals to your brain that it needs to be active, awake, and alert, so it’s best to limit your exposure to screens or lights.
If you find yourself lying in bed for hours, tossing and turning before finally falling asleep, then try removing yourself from your bed altogether. In fact, avoid being in your bed at all until the moment you need to fall asleep. This will send the message to your brain that when you’re in bed, it is strictly time to shut off and go to sleep. Try to stick to a schedule so that your body gets used to falling asleep at the same times each night, helping your body to expect when it’s time to wind down.
Another thing you can do to improve the quality of your sleep is to be mindful of what you eat and drink throughout the day. Taking in an excessive amount of caffeine, nicotine, sugars, or alcohol can all hinder your body’s ability to sleep well at night. Not only can they disrupt your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles, but they can trigger wakefulness, frequent bathroom trips, or heartburn.
If you have tried all of these tips and are still experiencing frequent sleep problems, then you may want to consider talking to your doctor, as your sleep problems might be a result of something more serious.