Do I need to sleep?
Most people in the United States do not get enough sleep. But what is enough sleep? Could you imagine how much we could get done if we didn’t sleep? Sleep plays an important role in good health and our overall well being throughout our life. Your mental health, physical health and quality of life can all be protected with good quality sleep at night. In fact the way you feel when you are awake, depends greatly on the amount and type of sleep you got the night before.
Your brain needs sleep
Do you want to make better decisions, perform better playing and instrument or simply retain more from your studies? Then sleep is vital. In fact while you are sleeping your brain is working on filing away the current day and preparing new pathways to help you retain the next day’s activities. If you are a young person, or have children you may notice that your child may have problems getting along with others, get quickly agitated, have mood swings and even feel depressed or have a lack of motivation.
Your body needs sleep
Its not just your mind, sleep plays a vital role in your physical health. Did you know that while you sleep your body is able to repair your heart and blood vessels? Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and even stroke. Not getting enough sleep can also through off your hormones. You know that new years resolution about sticking to that diet and losing weight, well consistently getting enough sleep can help. How so? Sleep can help your body keep ghrelin and leptin in balance. When these two hormones are off balance you may feel hungrier than you really are!
Ok, so how much do I need to sleep?
The amount of sleep you need changes as you grow up. The following are recommendations and not exactly what you may need. Newborns typically sleep 16-18 hours a day while pre-school aged children should get 11-12 hours. School aged children and teens should get between 9-10 hours. As you have heard before, adults should regularly get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. For more information on how much sleep you need and it’s effects, visit NIH here.