It is probably no surprise that a restful and sufficiently long sleep is important for health. The tiredness and lack of energy after a sleepless night are consequences that you notice immediately.
Did you know that we sleep on average 1/3 of our lives? Accordingly, an 80-year-old person has spent about 27 years of his or her life sleeping. So it is undisputed that sleep is an important part of our lives and we should probably pay more attention to it.
But how much sleep do we need exactly? What happens during sleep? And what can we expect if we suffer from a lack of sleep in the long run? These are the questions we will address in detail today.
What happens while we sleep?
During sleep, the entire body recovers. The brain processes the collected information and memories from the day and a regeneration of all processes that happened during the day takes place. In this way, the body’s energy store is filled, an intensive supply of oxygen takes place and the muscles relax. Restful sleep promotes creativity, concentration, decision-making ability, well-being and general health. It also reduces mood swings, aggressiveness and stress.
What does chronic sleep deprivation lead to?
Everyone knows it: you have trouble falling asleep, you wake up constantly at night, or you can’t get a wink of sleep all night long. The immediately noticeable consequence of this is tiredness. But what else happens to us? What can we expect when we suffer from chronic sleep deprivation? With too little sleep, the performance of our brain is severely impaired. Poor memory and judgement, as well as an irritable mood, are the consequences. The constant stress weakens our immune system, resulting in a higher risk of illnesses such as colds. Furthermore, high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular diseases. The skin is also affected and becomes progressively worse.
How much sleep is healthy?
We’re sorry to disappoint you, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. While some people get by on just 7 hours, others need 9 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. The average is 7.5 hours. Therefore, we recommend: do not stress yourself! The quality of sleep is much more important.
Here are 5 tips on how to increase the quality of your sleep.
- Make sure you have a relaxed evening routine. Avoid complicated and time-consuming activities in the evening and prepare yourself for sleep.
- Avoid bright light as it affects the quality of sleep. This means: do not use a mobile phone, computer or similar and dim the light in your room.
- Air your bedroom thoroughly just before you go to sleep, because a mild room temperature is the most comfortable temperature to sleep in.
- Darken your room. It has been proven that the quality of sleep is significantly higher when you sleep in the dark.
So, as we can see, sleep is essential for our health and well-being. Perhaps we should give it a higher priority in our daily lives.