Sleep Facts: What You Need To KnowSleep is one of our major physiological needs, on the same level with the requirement to eat regularly and drink water throughout the day. As you know, whenever you're hungry, you'll go out of your way to find some food; the same goes for water. Your body has similar demands for sleep and will allow little, if any, tampering on your part. And if you try to deprive yourself of sleep, you're going to pay for it with impaired quality of life, a suppressed immune system, memory problems, and cardiac issues, to name just a few. There's nothing better than a sound night's sleep to get us going in the morning so we're refreshed, our batteries are recharged, and we're ready to take on another day. When you sleep well, you're more productive, creative, and sociable. But for many adults, getting a good night's sleep is often a major problem. Every day, doctors hear from both men and women that they have a loss of energy, they're weary throughout the day, or they have trouble falling asleep, or they wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling back asleep. Many complain that their bed partners snore loudly and then gasp for breath throughout the night. And even though many people are spending seven to eight hours in bed, they're actually spending less time sleeping.
Following are the recommended hours of sleep according to the USA sleep foundation:
Why You Need A Good Night's SleepIt's sleep that rests and restores your body. During sleep, growth hormones are released, which help renew body tissues and form new red blood cells. Parathormone, a hormone responsible for calcium in the blood, reaches its peak during sleep. Researchers have also found that deep sleep helps the body mobilize its defenses against illness.
Most of all, we need a good sleep to help rejuvenate ourselves mentally. If you miss too much sleep, it is your brain that suffers. You can experience:
• Dramatic mood shifts
• Feel overly fatigued
• Have difficulty concentrating.
• Forget things
• Make poor decisions
Although each of us has a unique sleep pattern, one sleep characteristic we all share is a minimum daily requirement for sleep. Car fatalities are a grim reminder of this: Thousands of people literally pay for their chronic sleep deprivation each year with their lives by driving while drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle.
Bottom Line: You need enough hours of sleep each night so you feel alert and rested the following day.
If you sleep poorly several nights a week and don’t meet your genetic requirement of five, seven, or eight hours per night, you can quickly accumulate a dangerous sleep debt. This is neither good for your health nor your longevity.