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The Importance of a Good Night's Sleep


Getting a good night's sleep is very important for the body and for the mind. Many adults suffer from either lack of sleep, or lack of 'quality sleep'.

We need about 7-8 hours of sleep each night for our mind and body to function at it's best.

Immune System

The immune system can be severely impacted by lack of sleep. White blood cells (the soldiers of the body) are decreased and the body is therefore more susceptible to illness.

Studies in rats showed that while they normally live 2-3 years on average, the sleep-deprived ones lived only about 3 weeks. In addition, the rats showed sores on their bodies that the normal rats did not have. While the rat/human comparison may seem a bit extreme, it does demonstrate the potential impact that sleep deprivation can have on the immune system.

Concentration

If you've ever felt even just a little sleepy, you know how hard it can be to concentrate or remember things. If you work for a living, then you probably realize the importance of getting a full 8 hours of sleep before you arrive at the job. Studies show that after 24 hours of being awake, the brain's metabolism slows down significantly.


Rest and Repair

Sleep is extremely important to children since growth hormone is released as they are sleeping. For children and adults alike, protein production is increased and there is less breakdown of protein while the body is asleep.

It is for this reason that bodybuilders insist on getting plenty of rest after a hard workout. The body needs time to recuperate and rebuild itself.

Mood

Lack of sleep can also effect mood, causing people to become grumpy and even irrational. When forced to make an important decision, the phrase "I'll sleep on it" comes to mind. It's always smart to get a good night's rest, as to avoid doing something we'll regret the next day.

In the next article, we'll explore various ways to achieve better sleep at night.


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