For most of us, sleep is a precious commodity that we don't seem to get enough of. But, when it comes to being productive and performing well at work or play, there's no substitute for a great night's sleep— coffee and the snooze button can only go so far. The cloudy, hungover feeling that comes from getting less sleep than we need is seriously unpleasant and keeps us from performing at our peak. Personally I need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel my best. My husband requires a bit less. Everyone has their norm. However, it's not just our work that suffers when our sleep schedule is interrupted.
I read a great article in The Atlantic. The author provides a comprehensive look into just how important it is to get the recommended six to eight hours every night . Research suggests that lack of sleep can cause a wide array of chronic health problems, from hypertension, weight gain, and diabetes, to bipolar disorder and psychosis. Because of sleep's important role in the regulation of hormones like dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin, sleep loss can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being — often resulting in symptoms that resemble those of manic depression.
Serious impacts to cognitive function like concentration and memory, as well as the immune system, have also been reported in patients who have been deprived of sleep for long periods of time, as well as those who get between four and six hours of sleep for days on end. Recent headlines support research suggesting sleep deprivation can kill you. So we've got to ask ourselves .....how can we help ourselves get a full night's rest? Studies show that it could be as simple as turning off our electronics after 10 p.m. or turning down our thermostats and using cooling bedding and cooling pajamas. Working out and meditating have both proven effective for sleep issues, and, of course, a doctor can prescribe medications to help. For more info read the entire article at this link.... (The Atlantic)