How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Posted on: 6 August 2015

If you are among the people who feel that getting a full night's sleep is a luxury, you need to reconsider. Getting eight hours of sleep, or more in some instances, is a necessity for maintaining your health. Missing just one night's sleep affects your mental function the same way being legally drunk does. Sometimes sleeping just six hours instead of eight has the same effect. If you want to improve your life, start getting a good night's sleep.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

If you are not getting enough sleep, you will suffer a number of unpleasant symptoms. You may experience some or all of the following:

  • Moodiness
  • Trouble with problem-solving
  • Inability to fight off colds and infections
  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain

In addition to the above, researchers believe that sleep deprivation may speed aging. When you enter the first stage of deep sleep, your body releases growth hormone that is responsible for repairing cell damage. If you do not allow your body to go through all the stages of sleep, your body does not have a chance to repair itself, possibly leading to Type 2 Diabetes, memory decline, hypertension, and other ills. 

How to Sleep Well

You can take some simple steps to get the sleep you need. First, use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Do not watch television in the bedroom and do not have serious discussions before you sleep.  Avoid fluids after 8 pm so you do not have to make nighttime bathroom trips. Keep the bedroom dark and comfortably cool. Also, do not smoke before bed. Nicotine is a stimulant that will keep you awake. In addition, make certain you have an excellent mattress.

Choosing a Mattress

An old, saggy mattress will definitely affect the quality of your sleep. If your mattress is over seven years old, you need to consider purchasing a new one. Of course, if your mattress is still comfortable, you can certainly hang on to it. If you need to replace it, consider getting one that conforms to your body, giving you excellent back support. You may choose a foam mattress, including a latex model (such as Nature's Embrace Latex Matresses). Owners of this type of mattress report pain reduction and reduced motion transfer.  

If you do not get the proper amount of sleep, you are not only impeding your ability to function well, you are risking greater health problems in the future. The next time you are tempted to scrimp on sleep so that you can get more done, turn off your computer and get ready for bed. Your rest is more important.