National Sleep Awareness Week is this week week (Mar. 2-8, 2015) and culminates in the ever famous hour of lost sleep for most of us that undergo the time change every year.
With that in mind, its become more well researched and more well understood in recent years, just how important the right kind and amount of sleep truly is! We may spend roughly 1/3 of life sleeping, but its definitely not lost ‘unproductive’ time. Here’s why:
When you sleep, important things happen!
- Muscle repair
- Memory consolidation
- Hormone release cycles (growth and appetite among them)
To get a little more complex, there are 5 stages of sleep, all of which play a role in keeping our bodies and minds performing to the best of their abilities:
- NREM (non-REM) Stages 1-4 are 75% of our time spent sleeping
- REM stage is 25% of our time spent sleeping
The recommendations we hear about sleeping 7-8 hours every night, really do matter. So what are the rules and requirements and why are they so important?
Children and adolescents are still growing and changing. They have different needs than grown adults – 8.5-9.25 hours per night.
Adults? – eveyrone is different. Your needs will vary genetically and physiologically by age, sex, and previous sleep patterns.
Prolonged lack of good sleep can be linked to:
- body’s inflammatory response
- heart rate
- blood pressure
- increased hunger
Given that we all have survived another ‘spring-forward’ loss of an hour of sleep – give more thought to making up that hour, and trying to make healthier daytime choices that promote a restful nights sleep. SEE ALSO: 3 Important Health Reasons Why We All Need More Sleep