Why Is Sleep So Important?

March 1, 2023

Why Is Sleep So Important?

When you come to see us for a health evaluation, we often ask you how many hours of sleep you get at night. We aren’t trying to get too personal, but the answer you give us is really important! Sleep is a crucial bodily function that we need in order to support our entire bodies, both physically and mentally.

Quality sleep helps us function at our best, maintain a proper weight and can even impact how we learn things during the day. Our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team explains the importance of quality sleep below, so read on to learn why you may need to head to bed earlier tonight.

What Is the Purpose of Sleep?

When we sleep, our bodies may be still, but they are working hard to recover from the day and restore many systems in our bodies to get ready for the next day. While you sleep, your body cycles through four stages of sleep, and this cycle repeats itself as many times as it can until you wake up in the morning.

The first three stages of sleep are called NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. During these stages, your heart rate slows, your muscles relax and you fall into a light sleep. As you progress into these cycles, you relax even more to get ready for REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is the deepest sleep you will achieve at night, and it can actually be hard to wake someone up when they are in this cycle! Your brain activity actually increases, which is where dreams occur.

Lack of Sleep Symptoms

  • Worsened memory
  • Reduced attention span
  • Mood changes, like stress and anxiety
  • Frequent headaches

How Much Sleep Does an Adult Need?

Now you may think we are about to sound crazy, but all adults should strive to get at least seven uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. We know that this can be hard when you are busy or have little kids in your house, but prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.

For children and teenagers, that number is even higher. Children ages 3 to 5 should get at least 10 hours a night, and teenagers should aim for between eight and 10 hours. If you are thinking of your family and your kids are not hitting that mark, don’t panic! Now is the perfect time to start gradually moving bedtime earlier or creating a more positive bedtime routine for everyone in your household. In time, they will be grateful for the increased sleep.

Diseases That Lack of Sleep Can Cause

  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure, or hypertension

We are always here for you. Stop by AFC Urgent Care Mooresville for quality care today.

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