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The Importance
of Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep. You’ve earned it.

Sleep is vital to maintaining nearly every aspect of our lives and health. Even one night of bad sleep can have a big impact on your productivity, mood, and health. Long-term struggles with getting restful, restorative sleep can be detrimental to your health. Let’s explore how important a good night’s sleep is to your quality of life.

Sleep and productivity

If you’ve ever gone to work or school after a bad night’s sleep, you know that feeling groggy can make it difficult to focus and complete necessary tasks. A 2018 poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that 90 percent of respondents with excellent sleep health said they feel very effective at getting things done each day, while 46 percent of those with poor sleep health could say the same.
A bad night of sleep can impact your brain function including memory, emotional functions, visual perception, and decision making. This impact on your brain function can make it harder for you to do your job and, depending on your occupation, it could actually be dangerous.

Sleep and your physical health  

Did you know that a lack of healthy sleep can negatively impact your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness? According to the Mayo Clinic, people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus and may take longer to recover.
  • Some types of cancers
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular conditions

Sleep and mental health

Mental health and healthy sleep are deeply connected. According to Harvard Medical School, insomnia and other sleep disorders have long been thought to be symptoms of a number of common mental health disorders, but they are also believed to increase a person’s risk of developing some psychiatric disorders. For example, sleeping problems are commonly associated with depression, but a lack of sleep can also lead to depression or make it worse, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
If you have concerns about your mental health and sleep habits, speak with your doctor.

Developing good sleep habits

How much sleep do you need each night? According to the Mayo Clinic, the amount of good-quality sleep a person need’s each night depends on their age. School-age children need 10+ hours of sleep each night, while teenagers need 9-10 hours. Most adults will need 7-8 hours. But sleeping too much can also be an issue; it may be a sign of low-quality rest.
There are a number of things you can do to help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
  • Try to go to sleep at the same time each night.
  • Make sure you get some sun exposure every day.
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine, and minimize caffeine intake later in the day.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stop using your cellphone, tablet, or computer at least an hour before bed.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Use light, breathable bedding.
  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are both supportive and comfortable.