Sleep is just as important for health as eating healthy and exercising. Unfortunately, Western society is interfering with natural sleep patterns.
People are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and sleep quality has decreased as well.
Here are 9 reasons why you need to focus on getting a good night’s sleep:
1. Poor Sleep Can Make You Fat
The effect of sleep on weight gain is believed to be mediated by numerous factors, including hormones and motivation to exercise (3).
2. Good Sleep Can Improve Your Professional Performance
Sleep is incredibly important for proper brain function. Good sleep can maximize problem solving skills and enhance memory, while poor sleep has been shown to impair cognition, concentration and productivity (4).
For example, medical interns made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep (5).
Another study found short sleep can negatively impact some aspects of brain function to a similar degree as alcohol intoxication.
3. Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance
Longer sleep has been shown to improve many aspects of athletic and physical performance.
In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental wellbeing.
4. Poor Sleep is Linked to Depression
Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression.
It has been estimated that 90% of patients with depression complain about sleep quality (9).
Poor sleep is even associated with increased risk of death by suicide (10).
People with sleeping disorders, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea, also report significantly higher rates of depression (11).
5. Sleep Affects Emotions and Social Interactions
Researchers believe that poor sleep affects our ability to recognize important social cues and process emotional information.
One study found that people who had not slept had a reduced ability to recognize expressions of anger and happiness.
So make sure you get enough sleep before going on a date or out with friends.
Overall, you simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep.