A good nights sleep is Vital for our health, in fact it is just as important as exercise and nutrition. In the world today, people are losing sleep more than ever due to the fast pace style of life many of us live. With seemingly a million things going on in our lives at once, something that we commonly sacrifice is sleep. Not only are we getting less sleep, but our sleep quality is decreasing as well. It is necessary for us to take a step back, and see what we can do to get more sleep, and better quality sleep. Here are 10 reasons why!

  1. Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight Poor sleep is linked to weight gain. According to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, people with shorter sleep tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. An extensive study conducted by the same association said that children and adults with shorter sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to develop obesity respectively. The effect of sleep on weight gain is mediated by hormones, and lack of motivation to be active due to being tired.
  2. Good sleepers Tend to Eat Fewer Calories Studies have shown that those individuals who stay awake longer tend to mindlessly eat in the late hours of the night, which in turn adds extra calories and eventually extra weight. Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones  and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation. This includes higher production of the hormone that stimulates hunger, and lower production of the hormone that suppresses appetite.
  3. Good sleep can Increase Concentration and Productivity Sleep is vital for many functions of our brain. Including cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. When we deprive ourselves of sleep, all of these factors are negatively impacted. If you are a fan of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy this fact can be proved. When the Doctors have long shifts and are deprived of sleep, they make more serious errors. Yes, this is only a television show but it is depicting a very serious problem that occurs due to lack of sleep. When we provide our brain with adequate rest, we’re able to maximize our problem solving skills and enhance our memory.
  4. Good sleep can maximize Athletic Performance Think about how much your body performs after good rest vs. how you perform when you’re lacking on sleep. It has been proven that sleep can enhance your performance as an athlete. Sleep deprivation makes us slower, reduces our accuracy, slows our reaction times, and finally reduces our mental/emotional well being. In certain sports, not being at your personal best can make or break you.
  5. Poor sleepers have a greater chance to heart disease and stroke Sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors. These factors are proved to drive chronic illnesses such as heart disease. A large number of studies have proved that people who don’t get enough sleep are at a far greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke than those people who get a full 8 hours of sleep per night.
  6. Sleep effects emotional and social interactions Loss of sleep effects how we interact socially. I’m sure we can all recall a time where we were just not present in a social interaction because we were tired, or a time where we were overly tired and gave somebody un-needed attitude. In addition, when we are tired we have a harder time reading social cues and we begin to have a more difficult time to processing emotional information.

Along with nutrition, and exercise, sleep is one of the three pillars to good health. Just like we have to fuel our bodies with healthy and nutrient dense foods, and spend time working our bodies in exercise, we need to take care of ourselves by getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.