Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
When our body is lacking sleep, it enters a state of stress. Body functions are on high alert. This increases blood pressure and causes the production of stress hormones. Stress hormones then, in turn, make it harder for us to fall asleep, while higher blood pressure, as mentioned above, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. By getting a good night’s sleep we can break the circle of stress and counteract its effects on our body.
Better mood. Getting enough sleep won’t guarantee a sunny disposition. But you have probably noticed that when you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to be cranky. That’s not all. “Not getting enough sleep affects your emotional regulation,” says Mindell. “When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to snap at your boss, or burst into tears, or start laughing uncontrollably.”
The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.
Finally, you must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.