5 Ways Sleep is Important for Good Health 

We all know the feeling of waking up after a night of not enough sleep – a groggy morning, followed by a long, long day.    

But not getting enough sleep doesn’t just affect your day to day life. Sleep has a much bigger impact on your overall health; and most of us aren’t getting enough. 

More than one-third of Americans regularly don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, and 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. 

Here are five ways sleep keeps us at our best:  

  1. Increased performance: Sleep affects our energy levels, memory or focus. Poor sleep can decrease brain function and physical performance, in the same way that alcohol does.  
  2. Lower risk of chronic disease: Good rest can help you regulate your blood sugar, hormones and blood pressure levels – which are linked to your physical and mental health. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a higher risk of Type 2 diabetescardiovascular disease and obesity 
  3. Healthy immune system: Individuals who don’t get enough sleep may find themselves getting sicker more often, as the body’s ability to fight off infections and illness is affected by how much rest they get.  
  4. Better mental health: Getting a good night’s sleep helps your body prepare mentally and emotionally for the next day. People who have irregular sleep or disrupted sleep are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.   
  5. Weight management: If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may have a bigger appetite but less energy – which can result in overeating and not exercising. Getting the recommended amount of sleep can help your body be physically and mentally motivated to make healthy choices.  

To find out how you can prepare your mind and body for a restful night, read Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. 

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Photo credit: gorodenkoff

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