3 Important Reasons You Need to Get More Sleep

3 Important Reasons You Need to Get More Sleep

Sleep affects pretty much every aspect of your life—even those you think are completely unrelated.


Why You Need to Get More Sleep

I’ve never been good at getting enough sleep—in fact, my mom often reminds me how it would take hours for her to get me to sleep when I was an infant. I tend to think this is because I was born a night owl.

But of course, once you have a career and, eventually, a family, a nocturnal schedule becomes a bit more challenging. The thing is: when you don’t get enough sleep it affects almost every aspect of your life. Just ask any sleep-deprived mom of a newborn. You don’t eat well, you’re grumpy, impatient, irritable, and generally struggle with your emotions.

But there are actually a few reasons, beyond the obvious, that you should strive to sleep at least 7 to 8 hours every night.

1. General wellbeing. Whenever I go through a period of sleep deprivation, the glands in my throat will swell up and I will start having flu-like symptoms. Has this happened to you? Lack of sleep affects the immune system. So when you have an ongoing issue with getting enough rest, your immune system is likely to weaken, leaving you susceptible to all sorts of bugs and viruses, and you will start to feel unwell rather than just tired.

But if you make an effort to get adequate rest, you may be able to keep that cold at bay.

2. Memory. Have you heard of mommy brain? It’s a condition that begins in pregnancy and continues on probably for the rest of your life. Usually it has symptoms such as short-term memory loss, frequent confusion and general forgetfulness. These symptoms are believed to be caused by the lack of sleep that comes along with motherhood.

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3. Weight maintenance. Not getting enough sleep is actually a two-fold problem when it comes to weight.

A Harvard University study notes that a tired body processes and stores carbohydrates differently than a rested body. There’s no getting around the fact that diet and exercise are not the only parts of the weight loss/maintenance equation. If your weight loss has plateaued, or you’ve noticed your weight slowly creeping up despite a healthy lifestyle, sleep may be to blame.

Other things that depend on those daily solid hours of sleep: Your safety, your cardiovascular health and your mood. All very important reasons to get a good night’s sleep!

So, what can you do to get a good night of sleep?

I try to create a calm ambiance in my bedroom and take a warm bath before going to sleep. Other times, I combat occasional insomnia with a safe, non-habit forming formula such as ZzzQuil, which you can get over the counter and is an excellent option to get those hours of rest I so badly need to be ready for a new day.

How about you? What do you do to get a good night of sleep?


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