When your mother told you to get your beauty sleep, she may have been on to something. From kids to adults, studies illustrate that the amount of sleep a person gets can directly affect his/her diet and overall health. While individual sleep needs vary, most adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night consistently, while teenagers need 9 to 12 hours. About one third of adults regularly get 6 hours or less of sleep a night. How do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? A good way to tell is if you feel vigilant during the day and feel pleased with the amount of sleep you are getting. And there are many reasons to ensure that happens. Here are 5 reasons to get enough sleep. Let’s go through it:

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1. Reduces the Risk of Depression

Getting enough sleep is obligatory for functioning both physically and mentally during the day. Not getting enough sleep can cause dramatic mood swings, which can upsurge the risk of depression. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis—can have lasting effects that can’t be reversed. These effects can include high blood pressure, negative moods, and a decrease in productivity. Good sleep habits lead to better moods at work as well as in our social interactions and personal relationships.

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2. Helps Maintain an Optimal Weight

Did you know that getting too little sleep can cause weight gain? Analyses have shown that sleep deprivation can lower proteins in the body that suppress our appetites, causing people to want to eat more than they would if they had gotten enough sleep. People who don’t get enough sleep might also feel too tired to keep up a regular exercise routine, making it harder for them to maintain a healthy weight.

3. Increases the Ability to Think Clearly

A lack of sleep not only makes us drowsy and ineffective to concentrate, it can also cause impaired memory function and job performance. When we’re well rested, we’re likely to be more attentive, alert, physically stronger, and better able to perform well at our jobs and at creative problem solving. A lack of sleep can affect poor concentration and behavior problems. When we do get enough sleep, we’re able to think clearly and react to situations quickly without any qualms.

4. Reduces Stress

Reports show that more of us are reporting higher levels of stress than in past years, 35 percent of adults report that they don’t get enough sleep, with women feeling the effects of sleep deprivation more than men. Fatefully, many adults accept their lack of sleep as a way of life and turn to caffeine to combat the weakness they feel during the day. Aiming for 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night—along with exercise and a balanced diet—will minimize stress.

5. It’s Good for the Heart

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there are significant health benefits for people of all ages. Several studies have shown that a lack of sleep, or getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night consistently, can initiate an irregular heart rate as well as higher blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. So the next time you try to short yourself on a good night’s sleep, wonder about all the health benefits you’re missing by staying awake for that extra hour or two.

Strategies for a Better Night’s Sleep

  • Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillow
  • Maintain a regular exercise schedule

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