How Much is Enough?
Sleep is an essential part of our health that many of us tend to overlook. We easily get wrapped up in our work, stay up late watching our favorite television show, or have trouble putting our mind to rest. Many factors contribute to the lack of sleep we might be getting, but it is evident that if we get enough sleep we have a higher performance rate throughout the day.
As adults, we require about 7-9 hours of sleep. However, the amount sleep you need to function normally may be different than someone else’s need. Receiving an adequate amount of sleep not only helps us to perform better during the day, but it also has several health benefits, as well. Sleep plays a major role in our immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other fundamental functions. An adequate amount of sleep not only fuels our body, but it fuels our mind, and this is very beneficial when it comes to managing stress.
Too little sleep is linked with the following
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Increase in body mass index and obesity
- Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
- Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
Conversely, there has been some evidence that sleeping too much on a regular basis has been associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. There is no magic number that is suitable for everyone. Therefore, it is important to learn the number of hours of sleep that you require in order to function at your best while maintaining your health.