The answer is an obvious one, we all need sleep, of course, but how much is required and how often? More importantly, why is sleep so necessary?

If you are anything like me, sleep sometimes can be hard to come by. With life, work, school, significant others, friends and family, and entertainment, why should you fit in proper sleep? Well, I’ve been doing some research and here’s what I have found…

Adequate sleep can help you live longer. Studies have shown that sleep allows the process of repair to occur throughout the body. It helps to reduce inflammation for daily aches and pains. It effects heart health and blood pressure. Sleep is also believed to help lower cholesterol. Sleep helps with the creation of hormones, as an example, hormones which create insulin and control blood sugar. Sleep also helps your immune system to defend against common infections.

Sleep can help with outlook and stress. Your mood can be altered by the consistent lack of sleep and even lead to a depressed state. Stress can be aggravated by a lack of sleep which can cause anxiety and strain on day-to-day living. Your mood and outlook on life may be strained simply because you are too tired. If you find yourself under heavy stress and anxiety, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break and get a full night of rest or take a nap. Making a full night’s sleep a consistent habit can give you a brighter and more positive outlook on life.

Sleep has an effect on thought processing and memory as well. The mind can have trouble processing decisions due to a lack of sleep. Scientists have often compared lack of sleep decision-making with being drunk or under the influence. The process of memory begins the night before as the brain is allowed to prepare for the next day. New pathways in the brain are formed in order for new memories and information to be stored.

Scientists say that the adequate amount of sleep necessary for an average adult is at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Though this may vary from one person to person to another.

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