The life-changing aspects of sleep

Happy young woman stretching after waking up sitting in bedDo you get enough sleep any given night? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is probably a resounding, “ZZZZZZZZZ.” We’ll take that as a “no.” Still, it’s easy to take sleep for granted. In fact, many of us (if we’re honest with ourselves), put sleep off more than we should. Our lives get busy, and usually the first thing to get cut into is our sleep time. However, the rest we get actually plays a key role in our performance and our health.

When we don’t get the rest we need, we suffer, both mentally and physically. The truth is, those around us sometimes suffer, too. When you get into the habit of sawing fewer logs than you should, it can make you feel irritable. You’ll be likely to get upset much easier, and things can get under your skin. This leads to stress, and stress can hurt your health.

Cortisol is a stress hormone; too much of it can cause sometimes serious issues with your health. It can hurt your memory and cause you to gain weight, neither of which sound like very good side effects for someone who strives to be productive and healthy all year long. Stress can also cause you to tense up, exasperating or causing muscle and joint pain.

Not getting enough sleep also affects your mental alertness on deep levels. You are more likely to have accidents and falls if you’re not well rested. It hurts your performance at work, because without enough rest, you can be unmotivated and unfocused.

Getting the rest you need is not something to take for granted. When push comes to shove, we need to make it a priority, and find somewhere else to cut a little time. For the sake of our health, and the sake of others around us.