Experts say that the average person needs between six and eight hours of sleep every night to realise all of the health benefits of sleep. The 6 to 8 hours references the amount of time spent sleeping, not necessarily the amount of time spent in bed. We are talking about solid, restful sleep that provides maximum health benefits.
Unfortunately, many of us do not get enough sleep on a consistent basis. Some nights we may get eight hours, other nights we are lucky to get five hours of sleep. This is not a good way to live. Not experiencing consistent, restful sleep can result in all sorts of health problems that affect everything from the heart to the muscles to the brain. If you are not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis, there may be several reasons behind it. You might be dealing with anxiety or stress; you may have an underlying health condition; you may just need to invest in a new bed. However caution should be advised to not sleep with an infant in your bed as this excellent article discusses.
Benefits Of Healthy Sleep
If not getting enough restful sleep on a consistent basis can have adverse effects on one's health, it stands to reason that there would be some good health benefits linked to good sleep habits. There are. WebMD lists nine of them on their website:
- Better overall health
- Better sex life
- Better pain management
- Better mood
- Better weight control
- Lower injury risk
- Stronger immune system
- Ability to think more clearly
- Better memory.
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of healthy sleep. Nevertheless, let's take it one step further. Experts also say that the cumulative effects of healthy sleep are just as pronounced as the cumulative impact of a lack of sleep. In other words, a lack of sleep over many years can lead to all sorts of health problems. The opposite is also true. Plenty of restful sleep over many years enables you to live a healthier and more productive life. It also reduces the effects of ageing on the body. You will live healthier, for a longer period, if you consistently get enough sleep.
The Importance Of A Good Bed
Some people who do not get enough restful sleep find that their only real problem is the bed they are sleeping in. An old, worn-out bed that does not provide proper support is one that doesn't lend itself well to restful sleep. In simple terms, the importance of a good bed for restful sleep should not be underestimated.
Your bed is one that should provide a comfortable experience night after night. You will know how comfortable your bed is by how your body feels when you wake in the morning. For example, waking every morning with chronic back pain is a sign that your mattress is not supporting your weight well. If you wake with the feeling that you have been out in the hot sun for hours, it is possible that your sheets and blankets are too heavy.
Those who find themselves tossing and turning at night may also be sleeping in a bed that is not providing the right level of comfort. This is important, given the fact that we need uninterrupted deep sleep in order to enjoy the best possible health. Every time you wake to turn over, you are interrupting the deep sleep cycle.
Restful sleep is a necessary component to good health. A good bed is the first step in establishing healthy sleep habits. If you are not sleeping well, consider whether your bed is causing a problem. If you are sure your bed is fine, consult your doctor about other potential problems that might be inhibiting your sleep.
For Nine more great reasons to sleep more visit WebMD.