Sleep is essential for good health. In fact, we need sleep to survive just like we need food and water and we spend about one-third of our life sleeping.
Why is getting enough sleep important?
1 Sleep can boost your immune system.
Scientific evidence is building that sleep has powerful effects on immune functioning. Studies show that sleep loss can affect different parts of the immune system, which can lead to the development of a wide variety of disorders.
According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, proper sleep can also make vaccines more effective, which is obviously a plus. After getting a shot, people with sleep issues don’t develop the same antibody response as well-rested people, and that leaves them more susceptible. Research shows that restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 days, followed by sleep for 12 hours per night for 7 days, resulted in a greater than 50% decrease in production of antibodies to influenza vaccination, in comparison with subjects who had regular sleep hours
2 Stay at a healthy weight.
A good night’s sleep can keep you from adding unwanted pounds. First, sleeplessness cranks up production of the hormone ghrelin, which boosts appetite. It also leads to a decrease in the hormone leptin, which signals feeling full. Lack of sleep reduces your ability to resist junk food cravings. Give in to the office vending machine, and that candy bar will send your blood sugar surging, then crashing, leaving your appetite raging all over again.
3 Good sleep helps you think clearly
Good sleep is linked to improved concentration and ability to solve problems. Even one sleepless night sets you up to feel unfocused. Memory recall isn’t as sharp, and everything you do is in slow motion. This can be a problem at work especially in safety-critical environments where a moment of inattention can have a catastrophic affect.
4 Improves your mood
Sleeplessness and mood disorders are closely linked. Sleep loss can affect your mood, and your mood can affect how much and how well you sleep. Studies show people who are sleep-deprived are more likely to experience negative moods (anger, frustration, irritability, sadness) and decreases in positive moods. So getting a good sleep is important for good mood which will benefit you and those around you.
5 Improves your driving
Having adequate sleep is vital for safe driving because you have better reaction times and ability to judge time and distance.
How does lack of sleep affect my ability to drive?
If you stay awake for 17 hours and then drive, you’ll behave as if you have a blood-alcohol level of 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. That’s the same blood alcohol level as Aotearoa New Zealand’s legal drink-drive limit for drivers 20 years and older, and it’s way over the blood alcohol concentration level of zero for drivers under 20 years old.
If you drive after staying awake for 24 hours, you’re as dangerous as someone with a blood-alcohol level of 100 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood – that’s twice the legal blood alcohol limit for adults!
According to Te Manatu Waka – In Aotearoa New Zealand in 2020, fatigue was a factor in 29 fatal crashes and 113 serious injury crashes. Most fatigue-related crashes happen on trips that are under 2 hours and within 20 minutes of home.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Experts say that although we all have different sleep requirements, most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Children and teenagers need 9-10 hours per night
Tips on Getting A Good Sleep
- Use a relaxation technique
- Develop a good sleep routine and stick to it
- If you can’t sleep – get up for 20 – 30 minutes and try again
And … if you still can’t sleep – you may want to attend one of our online sleep seminars.