By being aware of the importance of sleep, it can have a huge impact on your life. If you know the facts, you can take any appropriate action needed. It’s more than just sleep though, it’s about the amount you get and the quality as well.
Most good activity trackers include a program to measure sleep patterns. They’ll normally be able to tell when you drift off to sleep, deep and light sleep, rapid eye movement and when you wake up. By having this information recorded, over time you’ll be able to use the data to make any adjustments needed to your lifestyle.
This will help you to get better sleep and to subsequently improve your overall wellness. An example of this might be that you become aware of when you drift into a deeper sleep so you change the time you go to bed so you get the full benefit from it. You may also change the time of your evening meal to make sure it’s digested enough so that you can fall asleep more easily.
Is the Importance of Sleep Really Important?
The obvious answer to why is sleep important would be to get some rest because we all need it. Fact is that sleep or lack of it can not only affect our physical health but also our mental health and the quality of our life. It can also have an impact on our safety. For example, if you’re tired, it can cause a lack of concentration which, in turn, may lead to having an accident. The damage in this case is instant and can be long lasting too. Lacking sleep can also lead to many severe health problems.
We need to rest our brain, to rest and re-cooperate. Sleep helps our brain to work properly, as we rest, it prepares for our waking hours. Having enough sleep can help with the way we learn, our attention span, problem solving and our creativity. A lack can cause irritability and in more extreme cases, lead to depression.
As for our physical health, sleep can have a big impact on it. Our body can heal and repair during our rest periods, especially things such as the heart and blood vessels. It helps the hormones that control our hunger to stay balanced.
Any imbalance of these hormones can lead to feeling hungrier than we should. This can lead to eating more than we should and can even contribute to obesity. Our sugar levels can also be affected by a lack of sleep. It affects how our body reacts to insulin and this can contribute to diabetes.
As children and teens develop they grow during their sleep, so they need it for healthy growth and development. Without sufficient sleep these can be affected. The immune system is another area that relies on the correct amount of sleep. It helps to keep the balance right protecting the body from illness and disease.
How Much Sleep?
The amount we need does vary from person to person but as a rule of thumb it’s about 8 hours with 16 hours awake. There is a misconception that as we get older we need less sleep. This isn’t the case, although there is the possibility that sleeping a full 6 – 8 hours in one go might decrease with age. Losing a couple of hours sleep each night overtime can lead to not functioning very well.
Too much sleep can be a problem too. Both depression and having a low socioeconomic status have been linked to it as have diabetes and heart disease.
The National Sleep Federation published some research which found that 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep had affected their daily activities in the past seven days. Perhaps this isn’t too surprising as we all have reasons why we get poor sleep from time to time.
Interestingly, the research also pointed out that Americans sleep an average of 7 hours 36 minutes each night, and up to 40 minutes longer on non-work days, yet 35% of those interviewed said their sleep was either “poor” or “only fair”. The findings do appear to confirm the importance of sleep to our overall health, but this isn’t really a surprise. It may be a surprise though, that so many didn’t think their sleep was good.
Get Better Sleep
We’re all different, so there’s no one size fits all but it’s crucial to learn how much sleep is best for you. If you’re waking up feeling tired, is it because you were restless in the night, so you didn’t get enough deep sleep? Perhaps you’re not going to bed at the best time for your body, has your diet and the time you eat your evening meal affected your sleep pattern?
There can be many factors which affect our sleep but it can be difficult to track them down. That’s why the latest technology incorporated into some fitness trackers can help to pinpoint the problem. The data they provide is usually just a guide, but it can show patterns which can be acted upon.
As far as your fitness is concerned it’s important to get an overall picture of your health so you can make decisions on the areas that need to adjust or change. It’s not difficult to understand the importance of sleep and how it fits into all of this. Small changes can make a big difference. Check out this article to read more benefits of sleep.