Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things on your ‘to do’ list? Ever wish that you could get more sleep but for whatever reason, you just can’t? Do you sometimes skip out on sleep so you can tie up those loose ends or find yourself addicted to watching an entire series of your favourite show? Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of sleep. I suggest you reflect on your sleeping habits and consider the points below as to why a healthy amount of sleep is essential for our wellbeing.
1. Sleep stimulates the immune system. Our body takes out sleep state as a time to repair itself and build internal things like tissue and bones. The body performs this throughout the day but while we are sleeping, the body is better able to focus on these activities without having to divide its attention.
2. Sleep reboots our energy. It is known that sleep is essential for every individual. Adequate sleep ‘recharges’ our energy levels in order to sustain the amount of energy we require on a daily basis for various activities. On average, adults require eight to ten hours of sleep. Are you getting that much?
3. Sleep increases performance, alertness and concentration. When the body does not receive an adequate amount of sleep, the impacts and outcomes can be damaging. Our ability to perform, to be alert and to concentrate will all be hindered from a lack of sleep. Minimal sleep can lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, hormone imbalance, memory lapses and other symptoms. A lack of sleep can literally kill. When the mind and body do not fully rest, the chances of fatal incidents (for example, car accidents) are more likely to occur when the mind and your capacity to stay alert and attentive are low. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), falling asleep while behind the wheel is responsible for at least 100,000 crashes on American highways.
4. Sleep can help you live a long, healthier balanced life. Like a healthy nutrition and exercise, studies have show that people who get the appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis tend to live longer, healthier lives as compared to those who sleep too few (or even too many) hours each night.
Laura Bevacqua Features Editor