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Why is Sleep Health Important?

Sleep-it definitely does the mind and body good! Sleeping is something we do every night, yet we often don't realize how much it affects our health and well-being. According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 75% of us experience sleep difficulties a few nights per week. While sleepless nights from time to time are o.k., chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to a slew of health concerns such as high blood pressure, decreased immunity function and weight gain. Think you can get by on less than six hours of sleep at night? The following are reasons why sleep experts urge you to think again:

Weight gain: chronic lack of sleep increases levels of the ghrelin hormone-which triggers hunger-and decreases levels of the leptin hormone-which signals fullness. As a result, you'll find yourself consuming more calories and snacking throughout the day.

Memory: sleeping helps our brains retain the information we've learned during the day. Studies show people who sleep the recommended seven to nine hours after learning a new skill or task, do better on tests the following day than those who slept only a few hours.

Heart health: lack of sleep can put a tremendous strain on your ticker, including increasing stress hormones, causing high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.

Immune malfunction: skimping on sleep can suppress your immune system, which in turn decreases your body's ability to fight viruses and infections.

Mood: feeling cranky, irritable, impatient and unable to concentrate? Get more sleep and you'll find yourself able to function better and less likely to lose your temper.

Safety: When you're tired, you tend to make a lot more mistakes, some of which can be dangerous, such as traffic accidents and workplace injuries.

There's no denying the benefits of getting the recommended seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. The right mattress, pillow and bedding go a long way in helping you get the proper shut-eye. To help prevent overheating, try Cool-jam's collection of temperature-regulating sheet sets, mattress pads, pillows and more.