Working long days in the hot sun and wanting to make the most of my summer living and working for the mouse does not give me much time to sleep. Sleepless nights have turned into cranky days followed by dark circles and bags under my eyes. Every time people suggest for me to take a nap, I brush it off because I do not want to waste one second of my summer. However, getting the right amount of rest and sleep is very important to your health and your well being. Here are some facts everyone should know about getting the right amount of shut eye.
While you are sleeping, your brain is retaining all the information you have gathered over your day and preparing for the next. When you are exhausted and suffering from lack of rest, your ability to learn new material and comprehend it well deteriorates. Not only does it make learning more difficult, but it also makes your emotions run wild, making it hard to control them.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to an increase in various health issues, including heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. It can also lead to weight gain because your body will tell you it is hungry and crave food when in reality it is just craving some shut eye. It also affects the ability for your muscles to grow and repair themselves. Additionally, your immune system gradually deteriorates with the less sleep you provide yourself with.
Inadequate amounts of sleep affects your daily performance. This ranges from simple things as a slower reaction time to falling into micro-sleep during your daily activities. Micro-sleep is a brief moment when you fall asleep during your normal hours of being awake. This is something you are not aware of and cannot control. There are high links between lack of sleep and driving accidents. Studies have shown "that sleep deficiency harms your driving ability as much as, or more than, being drunk." In no way does that justify drunk driving, but it does not justify driving while drowsy either.
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep to get through their day. Some adults can get by on as little as six hours while others need a full eight to 10 in order to sufficiently preform their daily activities. In the short term, lack of sleep will affect your mood and day to day performance, but in the long run your overall health and relationship with those surrounding you. In order to ensure you get the best night sleep possible, try to keep a consistent bed time, do not drink caffeine four to six hours before you plan on sleeping, exercise, avoid loud noise and light when trying to sleep, as well as heavy meals and alcohol prior to doing so.