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Sleep Zzz... Why do we need it?

In today’s day and age, we have so many demands on ourselves, and our time - jobs, family, errands, side hustles- not to mention finding some time to relax and self-care. To fit everything in, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep affects everything in our bodies, both mental and physical. It’s vital to our well beings. But in what way?

Of course, sleep helps you feel rested each day. But what is really going on while we’re sleeping anyway? While you’re sleeping, your brain and body don’t just shut down. Internal organs and processes are hard at work throughout the night.

When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes, and even helps you focus better.

Loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of problem-solving, reasoning, and attention to detail. Tired people tend to be less productive at work and are at a much higher risk for things like traffic accidents. Lack of sleep also greatly affects your mood, which can affect how you interact with others, process bad situations, and even your own emotions. Because of this, people who are at a sleep deficit for extended amounts of time can even put you at a greater risk for developing depression.

Sleep isn’t just essential for the brain, sleep affects every single tissue in our bodies. It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.

Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, and infections. Throughout the night your body is constantly producing hormones to repair cells, control the body’s use of energy, and recover from your epic workout from that day!

A good night’s sleep consists of 4 or 5 sleep cycles. Each cycle includes times of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and deep sleep.

Although personal needs vary, on average:

  • adults need about 7- 8 hours of sleep per night.

  • Babies typically need 16 hours a day.

  • Young children need at least 10 hours of sleep.

  • Teenagers need at least 9 hours of sleep.

How many of you are getting your required amounts of sleep? I know I’m trying to make a point of getting myself on a better sleep schedule and It greatly affects my teaching abilities and the quality of my workouts!

If you aren’t getting your necessary sleep then I challenge you to make a sleep schedule and stick to it for the next 2 weeks and let me know what changed!

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