Sleep and Rest are Important for Better Health. How Much Should You Get?

We all know that sleep and rest are important to maintain us, and the amount of sleep we get can either benefit or harm us. The amount of sleep you need to stay healthy and active is dependent on your age and can vary from person to person, but the benefits are universal.

5 Benefits of Sleep

Sleep is a good and necessary function of life. Beyond just making sure you’re not yawning throughout the day, there are a range of other benefits from getting enough sleep. These benefits can include your immune system, weight gain, mood, and more.

Sleep and Your Immune System

Sleep not only helps to increase the functionality of your immune system, but has also been shown to play a role in improving antibody responses to vaccinations. In other words, getting proper sleep can help ensure you get sick less often.

With poor sleep habits, we increase our risk for developing serious health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, pain, cardiovascular disease or infections.

Sleep Can Prevent Weight Gain

While getting enough sleep on its own won’t affect your weight, getting less of it can negatively affect your weight. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body decreases its production of  leptin, which is a hormone telling you when you’re full, and increases production of ghrelin, which is a hormone that boosts your appetite. This combination is a fast track to weight gain.

Sleep Can Improve Your Mood

We’ve all experienced what it’s like to wake up cranky. Getting a full night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day is a surefire way to maintain a good mood. 

Beyond just being in a bad mood, a lack of sleep can increase your risk for experiencing anxiety and depression. On the other side of that, high levels of stress and anxiety could prevent you from attaining restful sleep. Anxiety increases our agitation while stress causes us to feel more awake and alert.

Sleep Can Improve Your Memory

While sleeping, your brain is hard at work processing and consolidating your memories from the day. Not getting enough sleep, can cause your memory capacity to worsen, or even cause you to create false memories.

Research has also shown that memories of certain activities, such as playing a melody on a piano, can actually improve while you sleep. Meaning the REM cycle, which is the most active stage of sleep, links together related memories. A full night of sleep may help with problem-solving, which causes us to learn things more easily.

Sleep Improves Heart Health

While sleeping, your blood pressure goes down and this gives your heart and blood vessels a rest. When you get less sleep, your blood pressure stays up longer during a 24-hour cycle. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, including stroke.

There’s a lot of research that shows a correlation between many sleeping disorders and cardiovascular health. Individuals with common sleeping disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia are more likely to have heart arrhythmias, heart failure or coronary artery disease than the rest of the general public.

sleep and rest are important

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Now that we have seen just how sleep and rest are important, and the benefits they can offer, we can move on to how much sleep you should be getting. This is determined by a few different factors, but there is a general rule of thumb to follow that depends on your age.

  • Infants (0 to 11 months of age): Infants need about 13 to 16 hours of sleep per day.
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years of age): Toddlers require around 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day. Older toddlers around 3 to 5 years need around 10 to 13.
  • Children (6 to 13 years of age): Children will need 9 to 11 hours of sleep per day.
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years of age): Teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep per day.
  • Young adults (18 to 25 years): Young adults require around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.
  • Adults (26 to 64 years): The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day.
  • Older adults (65 years or older): Average elderly people will need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day.

Beyond age alone, there are a few other things to look at when determining the amount of sleep an individual needs.

  • Quality of sleep – if your sleep is often interrupted, getting the recommended amount of sleep is likely not to help. Quality of sleep is just as important as the amount of it.
  • Sleep deprivation – if you have been deprived of sleep for any reason, the amount of sleep you require will increase. 
  • Gender – Women tend to need more sleep than men, and are often diagnosed with sleeping disorders, depression and anxiety at a higher rate than men.
  • Activity level – High levels of physical activity will require more sleep to recover from than someone who has less physical activity in their days.

Having Issues with Sleeping? Chiropractic May Help

If getting the right amount of sleep each night still isn’t having a positive effect on your health, then it may be time to look elsewhere for answers. Sleep and rest are important tools to ensure you stay healthy, but there are things that could be halting how effective they can be. Many people don’t realize that chiropractic care can help with sleep issues, but this is very much the case. With the help of chiropractic, your sleep can be improved by focusing on other areas of the body, including easing muscle tension, relieving pain and discomfort and improving circulation as well as blood flow. 

At Align Wellness Center, we have helped thousands of patients that have suffered with sleep issues and are wondering what will help them achieve better, more beneficial sleep. Those patients are finally starting to get quality sleep and are feeling better overall for it. Sleep issues can improve drastically through corrective chiropractic care.

If you or someone you know is having trouble sleeping, or not feeling rested after sleep, they need to be looked at by a corrective chiropractor and ensure the cervical spine is in alignment as well as other areas of the body. If you’re looking for a chiropractor that will take a natural and holistic approach to helping you sleep better, give us a call, even if you’re out of our area, we can look to connect you with a chiropractor near you.

We offer an in-depth exam to determine exactly what we can do to help with as much detail for you as possible. It is called the 3-Dimensional BioStructural Analysis, and the process involves the following:  

  • Timeline history
  • Digital posture exam
  • 3-Dimensional posture exam
  • Chiropractic, Neurological, and Physical Exam
  • Spinal radiographs (if needed)
  • Digital biomechanical analysis of your spine
  • Insurance verification (by our insurance team)
  • Separate time to go over the results of your test within a day or two, where we will go over:
    • What is going on
    • If we can help
    • What the best next step is for you
    • Any investment in your health that is necessary

If you’re interested, you can schedule an appointment for a 3-Dimensional BioStructural Analysis here. If you’d like tips on how you can stay healthy and well without drugs and surgery, go ahead and check out other articles on this site. If you continue to struggle with your sleep habits give us a call at Align Wellness Center (847) 860-6599 or schedule an appointment online. Contact us today or stop by the office. We’re located at 900 Skokie Blvd., Suite 113, Northbrook, IL, 60062.

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