4 Reasons Why Sleep is so Important For Our Health

Naps as a child are certainly different from naps as an adult. Once thought of as a boring punishment, many adults would love nothing more than a mid-afternoon nap break.

However, napping is generally frowned upon in the workplace. Imagine asking your boss if you could get your head down for 20 mins? All the more reason why it’s essential for adults to get enough sleep at night.

Sleep is just one of many health topics covered by online blogs such as ConserveHealth. It is detrimental to our health and how we function and grow. The main question a lot of people ask is: How much sleep do you need for your age, and why?

Sleep Recommendations Vary by Age

Part of the reason why preschoolers and young children get naptime is that they need more sleep than adults. But not only does the amount of sleep vary per age, but it also varies per person.

Everyone is different when it comes to how much sleep they need. Some people are recharged after six hours; others are still exhausted after nine hours of sleep. However, TOO much sleep can cause fatigue and drowsiness.

The CDC recommendations for sleep by age are:

  • 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
  • 4-12 months: 12-16 hours
  • 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • 3-5 years 10-13 hours
  • 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • 13-18 years: 8-10 hours
  • 18-60 years: 7+ hours
  • 61-64 years: 7-9 hours
  • 65 and older: 7-8 hours

But it’s not just the length of sleep that’s important. The quality of your sleep is equally, if not more, important. If you get a full night’s sleep but still wake up exhausted, consider changing your sleep habits.

Some ways to improve the quality of sleep include:

  • Don’t oversleep: If you feel rested when you wake up, don’t stay in bed.
  • Set a sleep schedule: Going to bed at the same time each night can help you fall asleep quickly.
  • Be active during the daytime: Being active, especially outdoors, during the day will ensure that you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Keep an eye on your stress levels: Among the many aspects of our lives, stress affects, sleeping is the most common. Reduce stress for better sleep.

Remember though that even if you do adhere to following those outlined above, there are some factors that can hinder any of them working. One of the key ones is depression or a severe stressed mind. Sometimes, it’s best to seek help and advice around this before embarking on smaller sleeping help tasks. You can find out more about depression and sleeping over at BetterHelp here.

4 Benefits of Sleep

Now you know HOW much sleep you need, and tips for getting quality sleep. But WHY is sleep so important? Here are 4 of the many reasons why sleep is important.

1. Sharpens focus and concentration. Feeling drowsy or sleepy lowers your alertness level. Sleep is directly related to brain function. Without enough sleep, your cognitive performance suffers.

2. Lowers risk of heart disease and other physical problems. Sleep helps your body regulate many of its automatic functions, including blood flow. Blood flow is responsible for keeping your heart healthy.

3. It helps stave off depression. Depression and sleep is a double-edged sword. Lack of sleep can make depression worse. Conversely, difficulty sleeping is one of the main side effects of depression.

4. Boosts immune system. Sleep is the time when your body recovers, mentally and physically, of a long day of, well, keeping you alive. One of the sleep’s most important jobs is to allow your body to make your immune system stronger.

Sleep is Essential for Physical and Mental Health

Sleep and strong physical and mental health go hand-in-hand. Your body recharges mentally and physically while you’re off in dreamland. As important as sleep is, it’s not always easy to come by in the fast-paced lives many of us live today.

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