With the hustle and bustle of modern life, time is a precious commodity. It seems as though there aren’t enough hours in any given day. Unfortunately, this often means sacrificing sleep to get things done. Meanwhile, science tells us that this is one sacrifice we can’t afford to make. If you often wonder why sleep is so important, this article is for you.
Sleep is Important for Your Health
Sleep deprivation adversely affects your health in a number of ways. These include physical and mental effects. Let’s take a look at what lack of sleep does to you.
Physical Health Effects of Sleep Deprivation
First and foremost, sleep is a time for your body to rejuvenate. When you’re tired, your whole body is tired. That includes your immune system. In fact, a sleep deprived person is three times more likely to catch colds! Worse than that, however, are the deeper health issues that arise. Sleep deprivation makes you 48% more likely to develop heart disease, and three times more at risk for diabetes. High blood pressure is also a concern when we don’t get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your weight. It leads to higher cravings for sweet, salty, and starchy foods, which often comes in the form of fast food. Adding to this, your hunger hormone levels increase, while your appetite-control hormone levels decrease. All in all, living with too little sleep puts you at 50% higher risk of obesity.
Mental Health Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Mentally, the effects of sleep deprivation are just as bad. Lack of sleep makes you more susceptible to depression, anxiety, and irritability. It can also cause an increase in forgetfulness and fuzzy thinking, as well as your risk of developing dementia. Clearly, your brain needs sleep as much as your body.
One final thing to consider is safety, as a side effect of drowsiness and clouded judgment. Work and car accidents are more likely when you’re tired or can’t think clearly. For example, 6,000 fatal car accidents are caused by drowsy driving every year. You simply aren’t at your best when you’re sleep deprived. It can even impact your finances.
Since Sleep is So Important, How Much Do You Need?
How much sleep you need will vary by individual, but there are guidelines based on age. For adults 19-64 years old, we need 7-9 hours of sleep. Adults 65 or older aren’t much different, needing 7-8 hours of sleep.
It’s important to note here that your sleep isn’t just about quantity. The quality of your sleep is critical. Sleep quality is a matter of getting the right amount of deep sleep, without interruptions. In other words, four two-hour naps is not the same thing as eight straight hours of sleep.
With the above in mind, you should schedule your sleep time for the appropriate amount of hours. Just because you seem to get by on five or six hours of sleep per day does not mean you aren’t doing damage to your health. Furthermore, because it’s your health on the line with sleep deprivation, be willing to prioritize a good night’s sleep over getting more done.
Knowing Sleep is So Important, How Do You Improve It?
At this point it should come as no surprise that purchasing a mattress is an investment in your health. A quality mattress is vital, because spinal alignment, pressure points, and sleep comfort have a powerful effect on how well you sleep. If you're not sleeping on the right mattress, back pain or other discomforts come into play. You’ll only toss and turn, which leads to waking up tired and sore.
If you mostly sleep on your back, a firm mattress can give you optimal spinal alignment. This is often a good choice for stomach sleepers as well. However, stomach sleepers sometimes need a plush mattress instead, which allows your stomach to sink further into the mattress, keeping your spine properly aligned. Side sleepers also benefit more from a plush mattress, because it relieves pressure on their shoulders and hips. Pillow top mattresses offer the softest sleep experience, which some people find they can’t do without. The key here is to find the right amount of firmness or softness to help you stay asleep.
Part of sleep comfort is having the right material for the job. An innerspring mattress starts with a strong support layer of coils, then layers of foams and/or fabrics are added for comfort. Memory foam mattresses respond to weight and pressure, conforming to your body and cradling you to sleep. In addition, memory foam provides excellent motion isolation, so that your movements don’t disturb your partner’s sleep.
Latex mattresses offer some of the contour of memory foam, while retaining some bounce like an innerspring mattress. They are also naturally hypoallergenic, which can play a role in your sleep quality as well. An increasingly popular option is a hybrid mattress, which combines memory foam or latex with an innerspring support layer. This combination of strong support from coils and the conforming properties of foams makes a great compromise for many people.
Get Better Quality Sleep with City Mattress
There are many other ways to improve your sleep. At City Mattress, we’re committed to helping you achieve the best night’s sleep you can get. Speak to one of our Sleep Experts, in-store or online, and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Your sleep matters to us, so trust City Mattress to give you the healing rest you deserve.