How Much Does Sleep Matter?

Posted on May 10, 2019

How Much Does Sleep Matter?
Written By: Alena Walrath, LPTA

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Are you getting enough? What are you willing to sacrifice for a few more minutes or hours of awake time?

Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your immune system, how well you heal from injury, your memory and ability to learn, and how you perceive pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sleep deprivation is also linked to several chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression.

The reality is there really isn’t a good substitute for good night sleep. While caffeine is certainly a popular stimulant that may cause you to feel less sleepy, it can actually have a negative effect on sleep, including insomnia and other sleep disturbances.

Here’s a healthier option: exercise. An exercise that elevates your heart rate can help you fall asleep faster and increase the quality of your sleep. Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes to see positive results in sleep quality but cautions that some people see a negative effect if they exercise too close to bedtime due to an increase in endorphins and body temperature.

So whether you need to turn off the TV a little earlier, postpone that project until tomorrow, or add some exercise to your daily routine, prioritize sleep like your health depends on it; because it does.