Being physically active is not the only part of total body health. Along with nourishing your body with healthy foods, sleep is another important factor when it comes to feeling (and staying) Young & Free.
Sleep is essential.
I have not been getting enough sleep lately and its hitting me hard. I rarely ever take naps, but yesterday I woke up early and I was so tired I couldn't function. I took a two hour nap in the middle of the day, which for me is unheard of.
And to top it off, I've been staying up really late for the past two nights painting one of the bathrooms and bedrooms in my house. It's going to be worth it, but I feel like I've been hit by a train.
So, I did some research on sleep duration and here's what I found from the National Sleep Foundation:
There is "no magic number" of hours each person should sleep each night. It's different for everyone and varies according to age. Most adults need at least 7--8 hours of sleep each night.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, another reason there is "no magic number" for your sleep, results from two different factors that researchers are learning about: a person’s basal sleep need – the amount of sleep our bodies need on a regular basis for optimal performance – and sleep debt, the accumulated sleep that is lost to poor sleep habits, sickness, awakenings due to environmental factors or other causes.
So you may be hitting your basal sleep need a few nights in a row but still feel tired because you have unresolved sleep debt.
Why should you care?
Your sleep ultimately effects your health and your day-to-day performance. Your mood, productivity level, and energy levels will all be affected poorly with short sleeping periods. Short sleep duration is also linked with:
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
- Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information