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Why Is Quality Sleep Important?

Every “body” needs to obtain a certain amount of quality sleep to promote a physical and mental well-being.

By: Sylvia Slezak | Apr 2024

Photo by Pixabay.com ddimitrova

While you sleep, your body is working hard to maintain your physical health and to support a healthy brain function. Of course, if you don't get adequate sleep over time, your health will deteriorate and you may be at risk for chronic (long-term) health diseases and disorders. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

Sufficient rest, as well as a healthy diet and exercise, can help you keep up with physical, mental, and social prosperity. Sadly, too many individuals don't consider it to be a fundamental step towards optimum health. The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happened while you were sleeping the night before. That is why it is important to learn and practice good sleep habits that will lead to quality sleep and better health.

Why is sleep quality important?

During sleep, your body produces cytokines. Those proteins are crucial for fighting off infections and illnesses. Without sufficient sleep, your immune response may be compromised, and may leave you more vulnerable to colds, flu, and other infectious diseases. That is why quality sleep is essential for a robust immune system.

Signs of poor sleep quality include

  • Feeling sleepy or tired even after getting enough sleep

  • Repeatedly waking up during the night

  • Waking up during the night from snoring or gasping for air, which have been associated with sleep disorder symptoms.

Better sleep habits may improve the quality of your sleep. If you have symptoms of a sleep disorder, such as snoring or being very sleepy during the day after a full night's sleep, make sure to tell your doctor.

Does it matter when you sleep?

Circadian rhythms influence sleep. These rhythms help determine your sleep patterns and your body's master clock, or SCN, controls the production of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin in turn helps to regulate the "normal" awake and sleep cycles, and thus makes you sleep. When these cycles are disrupted, it can make you feel sleepy or drowsy.

Whether you like it or not, or think you can be in control of your sleep, it definitely matters when you sleep. According to the pattern of daylight where you live, a "biological clock" is set by your body. This helps you to get sleepy at night and stay alert during the day naturally. You may have trouble getting enough sleep if you have to work at night and sleep during the day; and may also find it hard to sleep when traveling to a different time zone.

Why is the amount of quantity sleep important?

Recommended number of hours of sleep based on and adult's age:

  • 18-60 years of age = 7 or more hours

  • 61-64 years of age = 7-9 hours

  • 65 years and older = 7-8 hours

Too often, people cut back on their sleep for family demands, work schedules, or to watch something. If your regular routine includes not getting enough sleep, you may be at an increased risk for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, poor mental health, heart disease and stroke, or even early death. Remember that even one night of short sleep can affect you the following day.

Getting enough sleep isn't just about the number of hours that you sleep. It's also about the quality of your sleep. That's why it's important for you to stay on a regular schedule.

Recommended number of hours of sleep based on a child's age:

  • Newborn (0-3 months) = 14-17 hours

  • Infant (4-12 months) = 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

  • Toddler (1-2 years) = 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

  • Preschool (3-5 years) = 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

  • School Age (6-12 years) = 9-12 hours per 24 hours 

  • Teen (13-18 years) = 8-10 hours per 24 hours

What are the benefits of getting sufficient sleep?

Because sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy, it is important for you to get enough sleep. By getting enough sleep, you can:

  • Reduce stress and improve your mood.

  • Get along better with people.

  • Think more clearly and do better in school and/or at work.

  • Stay at a healthy weight.

  • Get sick less often.

  • Lower your risk for serious health problems.

  • Make good decisions and avoid injuries.

What habits can improve your quality of sleep?

  • Be physically active during the day.

  • Don't use tobacco products.

  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.

  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable sleeping temperature.

  • Remove electronic devices (TV, computer, phone) from the bedroom.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night, including weekends.

  • Get up at the same time every morning, including weekends.

No amount of good advice, survey results, or lists, can provide you with better health through quality sleep. It's all up to you to take proper measures to take your body and health to its optimum level of achievement. It won't happen overnight. But daily habits will result in life-long habits. Your bad habits didn't show up overnight, and they won't disappear overnight either. It's up to you to create good sleeping habits that will result in quality sleep. If you feel that you can't do it on your own, get a friend to help you reach your goals, or consult a professional coach.

Wishing you strength, endurance, resistance against unhealthy habits, and blessings on your life's journey. May you live in health and prosper.

The pandemic has changed many aspects of how we now live and cope with uncontrollable change. It helps to know that there are steps we can take starting today to cope with new stressors as we navigate through our new normal. For when you seek counseling or have health concerns, contact a professional featured on CityOf.com in your city.

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