The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead.
Most adults need at least seven or more hours of sleep each night. The National Sleep Foundation NSF and a panel of 18 experts combed through more than studies to identify the ideal amount of time a person needs to sleep according to their age:. Although most men and women need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, their sleep patterns are generally different. Women often sleep more than men, and they experience a lighter sleep that is more easily disrupted. Many women also have undiagnosed sleep disorders. Other causes include sleep disorders, substance abuse, depression, and medical problems like epilepsy and heart disease.
This is unfortunate because good sleep is just as vital to good health as eating healthy foods or getting enough exercise. Read on to learn why sleep is so important to your health and how much you should be getting each night. Sleep is more than just a time for your body and mind to rest.
Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and well-being. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air. Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link.