So far in our “Exercise AND” series we’ve covered some of the biggest aspects that make up our overall health, including nutrition, hydration, stress management, and social support. All of these aspects - and more - are intertwined and work together as building blocks for our health as a whole. While it can be tempting to focus on just one aspect (like exercise), it’s important to not overemphasize some areas, while neglecting others. One area that is commonly neglected is the one that we are covering today: SLEEP. I think we all know that sleep is important. But do we treat it like it is as essential to our health as all of the other aspects? Well, we think it is so essential that we are going to take two posts to cover this topic. Today we’ll be chatting about exactly why sleep is so significant, as well as the risks of poor sleep. Then next week we’ll be offering tips on how to get better sleep. Let’s dive in!
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SLEEP
No matter your age, sleep is an absolute essential to survival. It’s a natural function our body knows it needs. Without it, our bodies will creep into dysfunction. While it is true that babies, children, and even teenagers need more sleep to aid their growth and development, adults still need a quality amount of sleep for their own healthy functioning (usually between 7-9 hours a night). We never outgrow our need for it. Even though it can seem “unproductive” because we’re not actively doing anything, the brain and body are at work to keep all of the body’s systems effectively functioning. Here are just a few ways it does that through the many phases of sleep:
RISKS OF POOR SLEEP OR SLEEP DEPRIVATION
It’s obvious that not getting enough sleep leaves us feeling tired during the day, but the more sleep deprivation becomes a chronic concern, the more your physical and mental health are negatively impacted. Here’s how:
But maybe getting adequate sleep is difficult for you for one reason or another. We’ll be helping you out with that next week when we cover how to get better sleep. See you then!
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Written by Kelly Pruim