Getting a good night’s sleep is critical to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.6 million, or about 30%, of American adults are sleep deprived, meaning they’re sleeping six hours or less per night. This is a startling statistic because numerous studies conclude that too little sleep is bad for your health.
A 2009 Japanese study published in the academic journal Sleep looked at the sleep patterns of nearly 100,000 subjects aged 40 to 79. Their finding: the ideal amount of sleep is 7 hours per night. Too little sleep and too much sleep was linked to an increase in mortality, the study found.
Here are 7 reasons why sleep is so important:
- Improves productivity and concentration
Getting the optimal amount of sleep – 7-8 hours per night – can give you more energy. A good night’s sleep is important for brain function during the day. This includes concentration, productivity, cognition, and performance. Sleep deprivation negatively affects all of these functions. If you are sleep deprived, you will have a 50% slower response time on simple tasks than someone who is drunk, according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation.
- Keeps your weight in check
Sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. According to a study published in the journal Obesity, sleep deprivation may increase one’s weight through its effect on appetite, physical activity, and thermoregulation. A study by the Sleep Research Society found an increased risk of obesity in children and adults who are short sleepers.
- Decreases risk of heart disease and stroke
A review of studies published in the European Heart Journalfound that people who are sleep deprived are at a much greater risk of heart disease and stroke then those who sleep 7-8 hours per night.
- Boosts your mood
A healthy amount of sleep can enhance well-being and lead to happiness. On the other hand, inadequate sleep has been linked to depression. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, about 90 percent of depressed people complain about the amount and quality of sleep they’re getting. Another study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, found that subjects who were limited to 4.5 hours of sleep reported feeling more sad, angry, and stressed. When the subjects switched to a healthier sleep pattern, they reported a drastic improvement in their mood.
- Lessens risk of diabetes
Sleep deprivation is linked to unhealthy blood sugar levels. In fact, lack of sleep can cause prediabetes in healthy adults in less than a week. Furthermore, numerous studies show a strong correlation between inadequate sleep and type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces stress
When you’re sleep deprived, your body goes into a state of stress. Bodily functions are put on high alert, leading to high blood pressure, which, in turn, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Improves immune function
Not getting enough sleep can adversely affect your immune system, increasing your risk of catching a bad cold or the flu, for instance. A study by the American Medical Association found that those who slept fewer than 7 hours per night were nearly three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept more than 8 hours.
Are you getting less than the optimum amount of sleep per night? Do you find yourself having trouble falling and staying asleep? If so, Dr. Clifford Brown and the dedicated team at Silent Night Therapy can help. To discuss your options and schedule a sleep test, call us today at (631) 983-2463 or reach out to us on our website.