A recent survey found that more people are sleeping less than six hours a night, and 75% of us have sleep difficulties several nights a week. It’s no big deal if you have an occasional problem, but when sleeplessness becomes chronic then we can start to have health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the power of our immune system’s according to the “Harvard Women’s Health Watch”.
According to researchers there are 6 important benefits to getting at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
1. Better Memory – Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
2. Creativity – Investing time in getting sound sleep is necessary in getting your creative juices flowing. Research has shown there is a decrease in the attention span and an inability to concentrate on details.
3. Metabolism and weight – Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite. There has been shown to be an increase in diabetes and heart disease in those who do not get enough rest.
4. Mood – Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, moodiness, and depression. Too little sleep will leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
5. Cardiovascular health – Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. Getting adequate sleep is a valuable weapon in the prevention of a wide variety of lifestyle disorders.
6. Disease – Sleep difficulties can alter the immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer, as well as reducing the number of colds and flu we succumb to.
In addition, it is recommended that we go to bed at the same time every night. Preferably before 10:00 pm as the adrenal glands must have time to reset themselves. So, get to bed earlier and live a longer and healthier life.