Published On: Tue, Jan 13th, 2015

5 ways getting enough sleep can drastically improve your health

5-Reasons-Sleep-Should-Be-Your-Number-1-PriorityDid you get enough sleep last night? If not, it could be costing you more than you think. The CDC reports that over 30% of Americans are chronically sleep deprived. This is a trend that needs to end and I will share 5 Ways Getting Enough Sleep Can Drastically Improve Your Health.

1. Happy vs Sad

The difference between a couple of hours of sleep can be the difference between a happy day or a sad day. The amount of sleep you engage in has a profound effect on the mood you experience. According to Dr. Kristen L. Knutson, (Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago) sleep deprivation has been linked to clinical depression. If you’re not feeling your best, one of the first things you can do is make sure you’re getting enough sleep.

2. Weight Management

Sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher BMI (Body Mass Index), as well as a higher occurrence of obesity. This happens for a couple of reasons. One, when we are not sleeping enough our body secretes cortisol (the stress hormone), which has been linked to unhealthy weight gain. Two, short sleep duration has been associated with low leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that helps regulate your metabolism. The less leptin, the slower your metabolism. The easier it is to put on unhealthy weight.

3. Live Longer

Researchers Shawn Youngstedt and Daniel Kripke from the American Cancer Society recently found that people who slept approximately 7 hours a night had lower mortality rates. The biggest drop off in life expectancy came within the people who were sleeping less than 6 hours a night. Though the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, the research tells us that if you want to play it safe, then you should try to get at least 7 hours of sleep as often as possible.

4. Get Smarter

Research by the sleep foundation has shown that alertness and performance suffer when you are deprived of the sleep you need. Not to mention, sleep deprivation has been linked to neuro-behavioral issues as well. To put it simply, when we don’t get enough sleep we are dumber. If you want to maximize your brain power then get the sleep you need!

5. Energy

Sleep is the number one factor that contributes to how much energy we have each and every day. Energy is that resource that we need more than anything else to live healthy, happy and prosperous lives. To maximize energy we need to find that sweet spot for sleep and start getting all that we need on a consistent basis.

Conclusion: Thus far, research has not provided us with an exact amount of sleep that we can prescribe to every person to make sure they are functioning optimally. What we do know is that every human being is unique and has varying levels of stress, so what may work for one person may not work for another. Some people need 6 hours of sleep a night, some people need 9. In general most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. The key really is finding your sweet spot and then sticking to it. Only you can determine how much sleep you need. Now take this to heart and start prioritizing your sleep!

By Brandon Epstein

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