Are you Getting Good Sleep?
The benefits of good sleep impact nearly every aspect of our daily lives. While it may be obvious that sleep is beneficial, most people don’t realize how much sleep they need and why it is so import
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Sleep requirements vary by each person. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following sleep requirements.
|Newborns (0-3 months old)||14-17 hours|
|Infants (4-11 months old)||12-15 Hours|
|Toddlers (1-2 years old)||11-14 Hours|
|Pre-schoolers (3-5 years old)||10-13 Hours|
|School-aged Children (6-13 years old)||9-11 Hours|
|Teens (14-17 years old)||8-10 Hours|
|Young Adults (18-25)||7-9 Hours|
|Adults (26-64)||7-9 Hours|
|Older Adults (65+)||7-8 Hours|
9 Benefits of Good Sleep
1. Sleep Supports Healthy Growth and Development
Sleep helps our bodies produce the right amount of hormones and chemicals at the right times to promote growth and development. Sleep quality also produces hormones that boost muscle mass, and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in regulating puberty and fertility.
2. Sleep Helps the Body Repair
Sleep helps your body repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. As you sleep, your body produces proteins that form the building blockings for cells, allowing them to repair damage.
3. Sleep Improves Your Mood
A good night’s sleep affects our emotional regulation. When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to experience heightened emotions. With insufficient sleep during the night, you may become easily agitated or moody the following day. When limited sleep becomes a chronic issue, long term disorders such as depression or anxiety can develop.
4. Sleep Helps Maintain a Healthy Balance of Hormones
A good night’s rest can help you maintain your weight and balance the hormones that make you hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). For example, when you don’t get enough sleep you are likely to eat more. Leptin is a hormone produced in our bodies that signals your brain when you have enough energy stored in your fat cells. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels drop. As a result, people with insufficient sleep become hungrier and over-eat.
If you’re overtired, you might also be less inclined to go for a jog or cook a healthy dinner after work.
5. Sleep Increases Memory Retention
Sleeplessness can have a negative impact on short-term and long-term memory. It is harder for a sleep-deprived brain to focus, making it more difficult to retain new information.
A good night’s sleep will equip your brain to assess new problems afresh. During sleep your body may be at rest, but your brain is busy processing and making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Sleep allows your brain to better process new experiences and knowledge, increasing your understanding and retention.
6. Sleep Reduces Stress
Your body goes into a state of stress when it is sleep deficient. Every part of your body is put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. High blood pressure can be life-threatening and the physical effects of stress can wear your body and degenerate cells.
7. Sleep Improves Your Immune Functions
Sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function. Our immune system is designed to protect us from colds, flu and other illnesses, but when it is not functioning properly, it leads to more sick days, and mental and physical health problems.
8. Sleep Improves Planning and Organizational Skills
Sleeplessness can temporarily impair the area of the brain responsible for organization, planning and problem solving. Fatigued kids or adults may find it more difficult to prioritize their work and pace themselves during the day, impacting their academic and/or work performance.
9. Sleep Boosts Alertness
Sleep increases daytime performance and safety. Sleep deprivation may lead to microsleep, which refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake. These daytime microsleeps can lead to spacing out during a class or meeting, and is most common in people with ADHD. As a result, overtired individuals are more easily distracted and make careless errors. Microsleep can even occur when someone is behind the wheel, which can have potentially life-threatening consequences.
Schedule a Consultation
Sleep deprivation is a serious condition that impairs mental and physical health. If you or your children are suffering from inadequate sleep, it may be time to discuss a prevention and treatment plan with your doctor. Join our many satisfied patients, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today, for treatment options.