When it comes to your health, getting enough sleep is essential to your well being. The National Institute of Health estimates that nearly sixty million Americans have frequent insomnia and an estimated forty million have a chronic sleep disorder. Here are five reasons you should get more sleep.
1.)Cardiovascular Health: Sleep disorders have been linked to heart and circulatory conditions such as hypertension and irregular heart beats.
2.)Weight Gain / Metabolism: Sleep deprivation causes changes in the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates. It also affects hormone levels related to appetite.
3.)Immunity / Disease Prevention: Lack of sleep causes changes in the immune system decreasing the strength and activity of immune cells. Some research shows adequate sleep helps prevent cancer.
4.)Learning / Memory: Adequate sleep improves memory retention by improving the brain's ability to store new information into memory.
5.)Mood / Temperament: Lack of adequate sleep can cause irritability, moodiness, inability to concentrate, impatience and result in being too tired out to do things you would like to do.
So how much sleep is enough sleep. That answer can vary for everyone depending upon the quality of sleep but a general rule of thumb would be seven to eight hours. Some people function effectively on six hours. Perhaps because they go through the four phases of sleep effectively and thus have a higher quality of sleep in less time.
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Harvard Health Publications
Improving Sleep: A Guide To A Good Nights Rest
WebMD Understanding Sleep Disorders