It’s funny how something seemingly so fundamental can become so neglected as we grow older. Sleep being an important part of your day is not a revolutionary concept. As children, our parents gave us bed times to ensure we got the necessary amount of rest to be properly prepared for the next day. Doctors recommend adults get at least 7 hours of sleep every night; you should spend almost 33% of your day sleeping. Yes, there is no hiding the importance that we as a society place on sleep. Yet the CDC reports that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep every night, a staggering 33% of the adult population. Why is that?
According to the Sleep Foundation, multiple factors can cause or contribute to sleep deprivation, including poor sleep hygiene, lifestyle choices, work obligations, sleep disorders, and other medical conditions. Between social media on our phone to streaming apps like Netflix on our TVs, there has never been more distractions to stay awake for. But you are paying a price that may make that episode worth saving for another day.
Sleep plays a significant role in almost every system of the body. Getting an insufficient amount of sleep per night can lead to obesity, mental health disorders, immunodeficiency, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalances and pain. Most importantly, sleep deprivation impacts the way you parent and partner with your significant other. Lack of sleep lends itself to increased irritation and loss of patience. Staying up to 3 am makes it hard to have the energy to entertain your 3-year-old at 7 am day in, day out. The most important relationships in your life, the people you hold nearest and dearest, are the ones who are going to feel the impact most directly. Sleep deprivation robs you of your health, your mind and potentially your family if you don’t get a handle on it.
The good thing is there are incredible benefits to getting a good night’s rest. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. Sleep helps with learning and the formation of long-term memories. When you get a good night’s rest, your body naturally reduces the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones.
So kick back, get comfortable and please get a good night’s rest.