The importance of sleep

Factors affected by sleep.

Sleep is important, I’m sure you’ve heard that one before. But do you know how important sleep really this? Here are a few factors affected by sleep:

  1. Productivity and concentration

It is a well-known fact that sleep affects cognition, concentration, productivity, performance and so many other aspects of brain function. Sleep deprivavtion only negatively affects all these brain functions and so many more. A study found that sleep deprivation has a similar impact on brain function as alcohol intoxication. 

  1. Athletic performance

A good night’s sleep can greatly improve athletic performance. Sleep deprivation has been associated with poor exercise performance and functional limitation, especially in older women. “In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being” 

  1. Risk of heart disease and stroke

The amount of sleep you get has a major impact on certain aspects of your health. For example, sleep deprivation has been liked to a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. 

  1. Bodyweight

Poor sleep is strongly linked to weight gain and obesity in children and adults. Sleep deprivation is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. Poor sleep affects hormones that regulate appetite. Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don’t. If you are trying to lose some weight, it is very important you get a good night’s rest.

  1. Depression

There is a strong link between depression and sleep quality. People with sleeping disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to develop depression and commit suicide. People with depression also tend to complain about sleep quality

How much sleep do you need?

The next question on your mind is probably “how much sleep is enough?” The truth is, it varies between individuals, but the following table from inspire fitness and wellbeing gives a pretty good general idea:

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Of course, these numbers change with other factors such as pregnancy, sleep quality, previous sleep deprivavtion, and Aging. Buth this table should give you a general idea of the number of hours you should be getting in every night. 

There are so many more factors that are affected by your quality of sleep such as your immune system, social interactions, mood, memory, etc. The general idea is that getting enough zzz’s can only improve your way of life and your day-to-day experiences.