Eight-Plus Hours Sleep Is Necessary For Optimal Health
It’s a strange thing but we have all heard people boasting about how little sleep they get, almost wearing their insomnia or lack of sleep like some kind of badge of honor.
We know that sleep is important and that sacrificing it is going to come back and bite us at some point, but I wonder how many people really realise how important it is that we get enough sleep.
I hear all the time of people who suffer from one form of sleep disorder or another while millions of of people world wide rely on sleeping pills for a good night sleep.
There are many things that contribute to our sleeplessness.
Light emitted from our electronic devices is one thing that is a growing concern.
Our diet is another. It is a vicious cycle with sleep deprivation leading to a craving for sugars and dense carbohydrates. When we run our bodies on sugar a crash is inevitable, making us need more, and so the cycle continues. This is what keeps us awake, constantly waking us up during the night and disrupting the cycles we need for a refreshing sleep.
I saw a study that was done in the USA where college students were tested when that had had just four hours sleep. Their blood sugar levels looked pre-diabetic. Food cravings were especially strong in the evening, when the sugar-heavy calorie load caused an increase in obesity levels.
And there is the effect on our immune system. A group deprived of sleep were given a hepatitis C vaccination, and produced fifty per cent fewer antibodies than a group that slept for eight hours.
Another study showed that sleep deprivation made the risk of depression greater along with the ability to think clearly. There were other risk factors as well such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Making Sense of it All
To understand how important sleep is I always say that a guide is that every two hours that your brain spends taking in information during the day, requires an hour of sleep to sort that information out. If you miss an hour, then an hour’s information is unsorted.
We always advise that sleep, especially at night, is the best thing you can do for yourself but even a power nap during the day or afternoon nap can help to redress the balance.