Most Americans do not get enough sleep. While the National Sleep Foundation recommends people get at least seven hours of sleep each night, few of us actually do. Somewhere between 50 and 70 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep problems. Some research shows that at least one quarter of all Americans suffer from insomnia. This costs the United States economy at least $63 billion every year in lost productivity. This makes improving the quality of your sleep not just good for you but for all of us.
The 6 Benefits of Getting Decent Sleep
- You will live longer. People who sleep as much as they should live longer. New studies shod that in people aged 50 to 70, more deaths are recorded for those who get less than five hours each night.
- Better sleep will improve your memory. The quality of your sleep can help improve your memory. A lot happens while we are asleep. You may not realize it but your brain is very active during the different stages of sleep. This can help you learn a new skill or sport.
- Better sleep can help reduce your stress level. Watching the quality of your sleep can help other aspects of your life. By sticking to a sleep schedule you can improve the quantity and quality of your sleep which can lower your stress and help lower your blood pressure.
- Sleep helps prevent depression and irritability. People who get more and better sleep are less likely to suffer from depression. Long nights awake make people irritable, grouchy and just unhappy. Pay attention to the quality of your sleep and you will be a happier person and ore fun to be around in general.
- Lose weight and keep it off with better sleep. People who do not sleep enough weight more than those who do. This is not just because of all of the late night snacking they do but their bodies have higher metabolisms than their sleep deprived friends and family. Well rested dieters have been known to lose up to 56% more than people who do not get enough sleep.
- Have less problems with inflammation. Many people suffer from inflammation in their joints. Some studies show that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night have more C-reactive protein, which leads to inflammation, than those who get more sleep. This can be a problem that will lead to a host of medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging. Avoid these, or lessen your risk by getting more sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep every night is the key to getting these health benefits. This means that you cannot skip sleeping during the week and then hope to catch up on it over the weekend. Many studies have shown that people can get themselves into a situation where their a “sleep deficits” cannot be cured with a long weekend of sleeping in.
It can be hard to get a good night sleep every night. It is important to develop good sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day. Even on the weekends. This gets your body used to going to sleep at these times and will become a real routine. You should also avoid looking at television or other screens right before you go to sleep as the kind of light they produce makes your brain release chemicals that will keep you awake. If you want to read before bed, try a real book or magazine. That will prevent you from having the light source also be the reason you do not get to sleep.