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Why Do We Need at Least 7 Hours of Sleep Every Day?

05 August 2022

You may have heard thousands of theories regarding how many hours of sleep is essential for our brain to function properly. Some theories suggest that every adult requires 8 hours of sleep every day for proper cognitive functioning, while others suggest that 6 hours are enough.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended sleep time for adults is about 7-9 hours. So, we have established the amount of sleep time required by adults, but the question remains. Why?

Not only adequate amount of sleep is essential for our brain to work properly but also it serves other benefits as well. Here are a few reasons why every adult should get at least 7 hours of sleep every single d

1. Improves Cognitive Performance

Cognition refers to the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding. Improved cognitive functioning helps us come up with better ideas, learn new skills, and aid our problem-solving tactics. When you are not getting an adequate amount of sleep your cognitive functioning deteriorates which can have a huge impact on short-term and long-term memory. Which can make the process of learning and remembering new things difficult. So, not sleeping enough can interfere with your job, especially if it requires you to be creative.

Getting at least 7 hours of sleep will make sure that your brain has enough time to retain and consolidate newly formed memories. This will allow you to do better on your job by improving your attention, judgment, and creativity.

2. Aids in Hormone Balance

Hormones are messenger chemicals of the body that regulate several bodily functions.  Sleep plays an important role in the balance of such hormones. When you are sleep-deprived your body tends to produce fewer amounts of Leptin (a hormone that makes you feel full) and more amounts of Ghrelin (a hormone that makes you feel hungry). So, if you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, you’ll end up feeling hungrier during the day.

To have a perfectly regulated endocrine system, one must acquire the recommended amount of sleep. Not having enough sleep affects our hormone balance which in turn has a consequence on your sleep routine, this particular cycle can lead to sleep deprivation, which even for a short time, can cause a noticeable impact on your hormonal system.

3. Helps Balancing Blood Sugar

The amount of sleep you get every day also affects your blood sugar. Insulin and glucagon are two hormones that regulate the release and reuptake of glucose within the blood respectively. When you are sleep-deprived, insulin resistance is improved within your body. Causing your sugar levels to go up. Consistently high sugar levels put at risk of developing diabetes.

4. Boosts Immunity

Our immune system is also dependent on sleep in some ways. An adequate amount of sleep gives our body enough time to regulate our immune system properly so that we can have a strong innate and adaptive immune response when needed. Not getting enough sleep can make our immune system weak which makes it harder for our bodies to fight off common infections. In summary, people who don’t get enough sleep are at greater risk of being infected by common viruses and bacteria. The lesser you sleep the more frequently you get sick.

5. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

Research suggests that people who sleep less than 7 hours are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems compared to those who do get the required amount of sleep. When we sleep, our blood pressure is lowered. So, when staying awake for longer periods, your blood pressure also remains high. Having high blood pressure for a long time can lead to diseases such as hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.

Sleep also plays a major role in the wear and tear of blood vessels and heart muscles. So, when we sleep, the minor injuries in our bodies are being fixed. Sleep deprivation chips away at this time for our body to repair itself.

6. Increases Productivity

Have you ever noticed that whenever you’ve had a good night’s sleep you wake up feeling more energetic and motivated? Have you ever asked yourself why that is? When we get the required amount of sleep our brain tends to be more focused and attentive, which makes us feel motivated to get things done. So, sleep is directly related to productivity. If you get enough sleep, you’ll wake up feeling motivated, which will push you to get things done, thus improving your productivity.

7. Lowers The Risk of Obesity

Obesity might also be directly linked to sleep. Especially if obesity runs in your family. Not getting enough sleep will put you at a greater risk of developing obesity or obesity-associated diseases. Sleeping aids in digestion and helps keep our GIT healthy and in tip-top condition. Sleep deprivation not only increases the risk of obesity but can also aid in developing GIT diseases, such as acid reflux and upset stomach.

8. Decreases The Risk of Mental Health Diseases

Studies have shown that a lot of the people who suffered from mental health disorders such as depression had one thing in common and that was either lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. So, an adequate amount of sleep is required to make sure that your body is producing and releasing the required amount of neurotransmitters. (Such as serotonin, scarcity of which causes depression) Quality of sleep also plays a major role in making sure that mental health remains in check.

Final Word

The right nutrition and exercise aren’t enough to keep you healthy and productive. You also need the required amount of sleep to ensure that you remain mentally and physically healthy. The bottom line is the required amount of sleep time is at least 7 hours because that’s how long it takes for our body to perform all of the beneficial functions that can’t be done while we are awake.

So, whenever you have to make your everyday schedule, be sure to set aside 7 hours or more for sleeping and resting.