A Look at Why Sleep Quality Matters to Your Overall Health

In a day and age where people are busier than ever before, it’s common that they don’t get enough sleep. Between work, social activities, crying babies, children’s school and sports, it’s very likely that you and your family aren’t getting enough sleep. However, sleep is extremely important to your physical and mental health.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

Most doctors recommend that healthy adults get between 7 and 9 hours of high quality sleep per night. Children and babies will need a little more sleep. Those over the age of 65 only need 7 to 8 hours. Regardless, the bottom line is that you probably aren’t getting enough sleep.

Why Does Sleep Matter?

Sleep matters for both mental and physical health. Here are a few ways that sleep impacts each:

Physical Health

Sleep is extremely important for helping your body to rejuvenate each day. It can help heal sore muscles and build a strong immune system. It is well known that those who rest when they are sick will recover faster. However, those who sleep enough will also become sick less frequently.

Those who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk for conditions like high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes. These conditions are known to be extremely dangerous or even deadly. As a result, it’s important to get the recommended amount of sleep each night to reduce these risks.

Mental Health

Sleep also plays a vital role in mental health and cognitive processes. Not only do those who lack sleep display slower cognitive functioning and less mental accuracy, but they are also at higher risk for anxiety and depression. Getting enough sleep can help reduce the severity of anxiety and depression or prohibit the symptoms right away.

How to Get More Sleep

Those who are looking for more sleep should consider alterations to their daily routine and changes to their sleeping accessories.

A new mattress or pillow can do wonders for your sleep. Those who are comfortable are more likely to sleep deeply and through the night. If you are having a tough time with your sleep, consider purchasing a new pillow or mattress to help you get the required amount of sleep.

If you find yourself having a difficult time falling asleep at night, changes to your daily routine or lifestyle can also help you get more sleep. It’s important to maintain a constant sleep-wake style to help your body and mind rest more peacefully. If you go to bed at a different time each night and wake up at an inconsistent time each morning, it’s less likely that your body will be able to fall asleep.

Other factors like eating a healthy diet and engaging in an appropriate amount of physical activity each day can also help you get the sleep you need.

Conclusion

Although many people realize sleep is important, most don’t realize the significant physical and mental impacts not getting enough sleep can have on their body. Those without enough sleep may experience less cognitive speed and accuracy, as well as increased anxiety and depression. Similarly, lacking sleep can also increase their risk for significant health conditions like a heart attack or stroke.