Health Benefits of Prioritizing Sleep

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Zoe Chan, Journalist and Editor

Mental alertness, physical coordination, happiness, good memory, better immune system. What do all of these things have in common? They are all results of getting enough sleep. Sleep is crucial for everyone, and you need to get a sufficient amount to stay healthy and function well. It enables the body and brain to repair and be fit and ready for another day.

 

What happens if you don’t sleep?  Sleep deprivation leaves people vulnerable to attention lapses, reduced cognition, delayed reactions, and mood shifts. “Inadequate sleep… disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic.” – Matthew Walker, scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.  “People who sleep with less than 7 hours of sleep or have low sleep quality (less than 85% of sleep efficiency) are at risk for weight gain, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It’s been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality. “the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.” – Matthew Walker.

 

Now that you know the importance of sleep, this is what you should do to get good quality sleep and enough sleep. First of all, don’t eat large meals or exercise a couple of hours before going to bed because if you do, the discomfort might keep you up. Also, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet. Foods that are good to eat before bed are cherries, raw honey, bananas, and almonds. Try to utilize your bed just for sleeping and nothing else.

 

As you can see, it is of utmost importance to prioritize sleep for one’s well being. So, everyone should cultivate healthy sleeping habits to enjoy a better quality life.

 

Aubree Hawley, Should You Prioritize Sleep?, September 7, 2018
Benenden Health, The best and worst foods for sleep
Jenna Fletcher, Why sleep is essential for health, May 31, 2019
Karen Lamoreux, What Is the Purpose of Sleep?, July 20, 2020
Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep, , September 28, 2017
The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Science of Sleep: Understanding What Happens When You Sleep