Does it matter if you get enough sleep? Yes, it does!
Sleep is vital to maintaining good health and keeping us functioning at our best. Studies show that sleep effects creative problem solving, thinking clearly, reacting quickly, and creating memories. Lack of sleep causes irritability, depression, and behavior problems and increases the risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Sleep also effects our weight and our food choices. People who sleep less are more likely to be overweight, develop diabetes, and to prefer high calorie/high carbohydrate foods. Sleep also effects our ability to grow, repair, build muscle and fight off disease.
How much sleep do we need? In general, adult women need 8-9 hours of sleep per night and adult men need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. How do I get more sleep?
Schedule it in as you would any other important activity. Remember that you will be more effective and function better the next day if you get enough sleep. Many people find they can do more in less time with the proper amount of rest.
Get up at the same time everyday (even on weekends). This sets the time you get drowsy in the evening.
Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. Caffeine can take as long as 8 hours to wear off.
Avoid alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol may help you feel relaxed but it also keeps you in lighter stages of sleep and may wake you up later in the night after the relaxing effects wear off.
Set up a relaxing bedtime routine that starts at least an hour before bedtime.