A child might throw a fit if it’s time for bed, and an adult might put off sleep so they can get more work done. But the fact remains that whether you’re a child or an adult, sleep is far more important than you give it credit for. Far too many people take a good night’s sleep for granted, and that is not a good thing. Getting the right amount of sleep, no matter how busy you are, is essential for all aspects of your health: mental, emotional, and physical. Depriving yourself of sleep is depriving yourself of a healthy mind and body.
The time you spend sleeping at night allows your mind and body to heal and regenerate itself. Getting your essential 7 to 9 hours of sleep is critical for your mental performance during the day. Whether you’re in school or at work, the ability to think critically, make sound decisions, and concentrate on the task at hand are essential. If you’re running on five hours or less, your ability to mentally perform during the day is greatly impaired. Sleep deprived students get lower grades and test scores. A working adult that doesn’t get enough sleep will see their job performance and concentration slip drastically. This also extends to drivers, which are placing themselves and others in physical danger if they are too sleepy to pay attention to the road.
The fact remains that getting enough sleep improves cognitive functions such as memory and concentration. Sleep reduces stress and anxiety and is also linked to improved mood and lessens the impact of depression.
Your mind operates better on good sleep, and so does your body. People who get a full night’s sleep see better athletic performance during the day. Not to mention that sleeping enough and working out every day will help you simply feel better about yourself.
Sleep also boosts your immune system, if given the chance to regenerate overnight along with your mind. Improved immunity means that there is much less of a chance of you getting sick. Studies have also shown that people who get enough sleep are at a lower risk for heart disease, and stroke. Stress will be greatly reduced from your mind and body alike. There are also studies that link lack of sleep to weight gain. Getting enough sleep at night will help your body function at its best, and will make it easier to keep excess weight off. If you want to lose weight, diet and exercise are equally important to getting a good night’s sleep.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
In order to enjoy the benefits of sleep, you may need to change your routine. You may have to make sacrifices for the sake of your health. The first step to getting better sleep is to start going to bed at the same time every night. Adjust your biological clock so you are falling asleep at the same time every night, and as a result it’ll be easier for you to stay asleep the whole night, and you’ll start waking up at the same time also.
And before you go to sleep, make sure to refrain from drinking stimulating substances such as alcohol and caffeine. Those things will only prevent you from keeping your sleeping routine. Other things to avoid doing before bed are working out and using electronic devices. Working out is a good thing, but it’s better to do it in the morning rather than right before bedtime. And electronics can be addictive and stimulating to your mind when you should be going to bed. Turn off that bright screen, and settle into bed when you’re supposed to. Keep the routine. Of course, there’s no helping sleep interruptions beyond your control, like the cat knocking something off a shelf or your home security system going off in the middle of the night. But, if you keep the routine, you’ll generally get your much needed sleep more often than not.
Whether you’re an adult or a child, sleep is crucial for development and regeneration. Don’t deprive yourself of this essential life function. Sleep will help you be happier, healthier, more alert, and more concentrated. You’ll live longer. Please don’t make a habit out of pulling all-nighters. Make a habit of sleeping!