The World Health Organization found that two-thirds of adults throughout all developed nations fail to obtain the recommended 8-hours of sleep a night. That means millions of people are routinely disrupting their sleep patterns, demolishing their immune system, and doubling their risk for cancer. Most Americans spend 25-30 years, on average, of their lives sleeping, while getting caught in frustrating cycles of not sleeping, tossing and turning in bed, or drinking a cocktail to relax their body at night. Here are 5 reasons you should consider working to get a better night's rest.
1. A Lack of Sleep Results in Poor Weight Management
If you're trying to lose weight or keep your weight at a healthy level, getting enough quality sleep may make that more possible. Research has found that not getting enough sleep can increase one's risk for obesity. Adults who don't get enough sleep are 55% more likely to become obese, while that risk rises to 89% in children with poor sleep habits.
The reasons for this are varied. When we sleep, our bodies use that time to restore energy levels, repair muscles, and release the hormones our bodies need to function correctly. If we're not getting enough sleep, these processes are inhibited, and out metabolism is affected. Additionally, those who don't awake feeling refreshed and energized are less likely to engage in physical activity.
2. Boost Your Productivity
When we get enough sleep, we wake up feeling recharged mentally, as well as physically, and we can be more productive in our daily activities. A recent study found the converse to be true, as well. Researchers looked at interns, who worked a traditional schedule plus an added 24 hours per week to their work routines. Those interns were 36% more likely to make serious medical errors than interns who weren't working the overtime hours. By getting enough sleep, memory and problem-solving skills are enhanced, creating a better cognitive performance.
3. Better Sleep Improves Your Performance
One study looked at how sleep affected the abilities of athletes. Examining the performances of a group of basketball players, researchers found that traits, such as speed, accuracy, and reaction time, were notably improved with longer sleep schedules. Getting enough quality sleep helped the athletes play better, even where all athletes spent equal amounts of time in practice.
In another study, it was found that poor sleep also affects daily performance in the elderly. A group of senior women was studied, and the researchers found that their functioning and ability to exercise were inhibited with a lack of quality sleep. The women with fewer hours of sleep exhibited weaker grip strength, slower walking paces, and decreased abilities in performing various independent actions.
4. Better Sleep Lowers Physical Health Risks
Where individuals aren't getting enough sleep, their risks for a heart attack or stroke are dramatically increased. At least seven to eight hours of quality sleep are needed to reduce those risks in the average person. In addition to chronic illnesses, a lack of sleep also lowers the strength of the immune system, help decrease chance of weight gain, creating a greater chance of contracting colds, fevers, and flu.
5. Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Mental Illness
We have begun to notice that those who suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, also suffer from a lack of quality sleep. In fact, as many as 90% of depression patients reported also experiencing insomnia and other types of sleep disorders. Research into patient records has also revealed that poor sleep also played a factor in suicide deaths. Individuals suffering from a sleep disorder have a significantly higher risk of developing a mental illness, particularly depression, than those who maintain healthy sleep patterns.
If you're one of the millions of Americans looking for better quality rest, consider adding one of our herbal sleep formulas to your nightly routine. Because sleep issues can vary depending on the person, we developed two different sleep formulas to support each individual sleeper. Learn more about which formula might be a good fit for you!