Why You Should Sleep 8 Hours
Posted on December 27, 2018
We are always told to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day, but do we really know what can happen without it? We researched information from sleep experts to find out what really happens when you get less rest and why you should sleep eight hours.
Harneet Walia, MD is a sleep disorder expert who gives a rundown of the negative effects lack of sleep may have on your health.
- Lack of alertness: research shows that sleeping less than the necessary amount can impact how alert you are during the day. The more sleep you lose, the less alert you will be.
- Impaired memory: Without sleep, your mind is unable to properly remember or process information. Getting ample amounts of sleep can help to improve memory, think quickly, and retain information.
- Relationship stress: The less sleep we get, the more moody we become. Having such mood swings can affect the way you interact with others and weigh on the relationship.
- Quality of life: When you don’t get enough sleep, you just feel drained. This can result in lack of excitement, and the disregard for activities you would otherwise enjoy. You feel as though you don’t have the energy to do the things you need or want to do.
- Greater likelihood for car accidents: Driving on little to no sleep can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. If you feel tired, avoid driving. If you are already on the road when you feel drowsy, either pull over or change drivers.
While these five problems are short term, there may also be long term effects on the body. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker touches on the damage lack of sleep can cause to the body and mind.
Walker mentions how technology has played both a positive and negative role when it comes to sleep. While the advancing technology has helped to track sleeping patterns and diagnose problems, it has also deterred us from getting enough sleep each night. Cell phones, televisions, laptops, and every other technological device should be left out of the bedroom. Their LED lights effect melatonin production, which makes it more difficult for our bodies to shut down.
Without eight hours of sleep, we also drastically hurt our immune system. Whenever we don’t feel well, we tell ourselves to sleep it off. That is because sleep is what keeps us strong and healthy. If we refuse our body the rest it needs, we are more prone to illness.
Whatever you may have going on in your life, it’s important to set aside enough time for your mind and body to rest. If you’re struggling to keep a consistent routine, take a look at our previous post, Night Owl Turned Early Bird!
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