A good night’s sleep is extremely important for good health. It helps one to stay alert which maximizes focus, and also keeps a number of health conditions at bay. Unfortunately, the young professionals and even the urban teens are adopting hectic lifestyles that disrupt their sleeping patterns. For instance, more and more people today like to stay glued to their smartphones/laptops late at nights and get only 5-6 hours of sleep.
The following are some of biggest reasons why sufficiently sleep is important:
- Obesity: According to some reports, including the one published by Science Daily, the lack of sleep is directly linked to obesity. This has to do with its impact on metabolism and blood pressure.
- Heart Diseases: Those who get 7-8 hours of quality sleep on a daily basis are at a much lower risk of developing heart diseases and stroke compared to those who sleep for a short time.
- Depression: Sleep disorders are one of the biggest reasons behind depression. In fact, as many as 90% of the patients with depression complain about sleep-related problems.
- Immune System: Those who sleep for less than 7 hours are 3 times more likely to develop cold than those who sleep for 8 hours or more. Thus, there is a link between the number of hours you sleep and your immune system’s strength.
Apart from the main reasons discussed above, there are many ways poor sleep can affect one’s life. A person may face problems with productivity at work or even with their sex life. Thus, every individual should get an adequate amount of sleep depending on their age:
- Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep
- Young adults (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Older adults (65 years or older): 7 to 8 hours of sleep
Gender and Sleep Disorders
Although men and women both need 7-8 hours of sleep, the latter are more prone to sleep disorders, even though a lot of times they don’t even get to know about it. This is mainly because women tend to be light sleepers, i.e., their sleep can be easily disrupted compared to men.
Women also undergo various bodily changes in their lives including menopause-triggered hormonal changes, pregnancy, etc. that can interfere with their sleeping patterns. Thus, they need to be more careful that they get enough sleep, and most importantly- a sound sleep.
Tips for Sound Sleep
- Developing a habit of going to bed and waking up early can go a long way in keeping sleep disorders at bay. It can also help to enjoy a high-quality sleep.
- Exposure to natural light is essential for quality sleep. This is because it increases the production of melatonin in the body which is the hormone that tells the body when to sleep and when to wake up.
- One must avoid using any electronic device such as smartphone or TV about 30-40 minutes before going to sleep. This is because this gap allows the brain and body to relax and helps to get a good night’s sleep.
A number of people think that they can do with few hours of sleep and be more productive this way. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Only with 7-8 hours of quality sleep you can be highly productive and enjoy good health. It’s important to remember good sleep = good health.