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  • Writer's pictureAshley T

The Importance of Sleep

Your body and mind need to relax when you sleep in order for you to wake up feeling rejuvenated and alert. The body needs adequate sleep to remain healthy and free of disease and for the brain to function effectively. Your capacity to focus, think clearly, and process memories could all be impacted by a lack of sleep.

The typical adult need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Particularly if they are younger than five years old, kids and teenagers require a lot more sleep. We may struggle to obtain enough sleep due to a variety of reasons, including health problems, work obligations, daily stressors, noisy bedrooms, and others.

A balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices can guarantee an adequate amount of sleep each night, but for some people, prolonged sleepiness may be the first sign of a sleep disorder.


Why Sleep is Important

The majority of humans need seven hours or more of sleep each night for optimum cognitive and behavioral functions. Sleep deprivation can have serious negative repercussions. Numerous studies have shown that sleep deprivation increases a person's propensity for distractions, impaired cognition, delayed reactions, and mood changes.

It has also been suggested that people can adjust to prolonged sleep deprivation. They may not be conscious of their own limitations because getting less sleep seems normal to them, despite the fact that their bodies and minds are suffering from lack of sleep. In addition, a lack of sleep has been linked to a higher chance of contracting certain diseases and conditions. These include poor mental health, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and death.

Adults who don't get enough sleep each night can adopt healthy lifestyle and sleeping practices to get the seven to nine hours they require. They consist of the following:

  • Set a reasonable bedtime and adhere to it every night, including on the weekends

  • Keep your bedroom at a cozy temperature and with minimal lighting

  • Make sure you have the proper mattress, pillows, and sheets for your body type

  • Lessen screen time

  • Avoid consuming coffee, alcohol, and heavy meals in the hours before bed.

  • Avoid smoking at all hours of the day or night

  • Exercise during the day to help you relax and get ready for bed at night

An internal "body clock" that controls when you feel alert and awake as well as drowsy controls your sleep cycle. This clock runs on the circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle. You'll feel fatigued after waking up from sleep, and this will continue throughout the day. Prior to going to bed, these emotions will reach their climax in the evening.

Adenosine, an organic substance made in the brain, may be related to this sleep drive, also known as sleep-wake homeostasis. As you get tireder throughout the day, your adenosine levels rise; however, during sleep, your body breaks down this substance.

The circadian cycle is influenced by light as well. The suprachiasmatic nucleus, a group of cells in the hypothalamus that process signals when the eyes are exposed to natural or artificial light, is a specific region of nerve cells in the brain known as the hypothalamus. These signals help the brain determine whether it's day time or night time.

Melatonin, a hormone that causes drowsiness, is released by the body as the sun sets in the evening. The hormone cortisol, which promotes energy and alertness, is released by the body as the sun rises in the morning.

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