Improvements in sleep duration, and sleep quality are directly correlated towards greater quality of life for individuals of all ages. Greater quality sleep leads to greater quality of life, sounds simple, right?
A number of discussion topics arise when discussing sleep. How much is needed? How much does it change as one ages? Does everyone REALLY need eight hours?
Unfortunately, sleep is one of the most overlooked topics in the wellness industry at any age. Too often there are uncanny amounts of information regarding supplements, quick fixes, and even exercise itself. Much of the information does not address sleep, which should be regarded as one of the most important influences of overall health. Not only is it one of the most important, it might be the easiest to alter in order to improve overall health.
According to the National Sleep Foundation the necessary time asleep varies based on one’s age, but the variance is very little.
|Age||Recommended||May be Appropriate||Not Recommended|
|24-64||7 to 9 hours||6 to 10 hours||Less than 6 hours More than 10 hours|
|65+||7 to 8 hours||5 to 9 hours||Less than 5 hours More than 9 hours|
The National Sleep Foundation follows common thought, eight hours as the recommended amount for most adults, but many can get away with less.
Sleep is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it allow for the body to go into a state of calmness, unwinding, and recharge from the day but it helps a number of other aspects as well. Sleep is involved in:
Adequate sleep is necessary for all. Unfortunately, our daily lives distract us from simply allowing enough time for quality rest.
There are two key components that have been found to play a pivotal role in one’s sleep habits.
Sleep found low on one’s list of priorities.
Too often we find ourselves on a never-ending rat race with endless amounts of tasks to accomplish. Once each of those tasks are accomplished, we finally lay our heads to rest. Sleep must become a priority. Find out how much sleep is needed personally and create a schedule that allows for that specific amount each night. Not only will the value of sleep drastically increase, but there will also be improvements in productivity, efficiency, focus, as well as noticeable improvements in mood that may have gone unnoticed.
Stress prevents one from getting adequate sleep. We all know the feeling of constant tossing and turning or waking throughout the night because one’s mind won’t stop racing. However, not getting enough sleep is a stressor in itself. Therefore, the tasks, and thoughts that keep one awake at night become that much harder the next day because another stressor, lack of sleep, has been mixed into the equation. Quite the double-edged sword.
Adequate sleep boils down as one of the basics for overall health. One cannot explore the vast array of options that point towards improved health (diet, exercise, meditation) until sleep has become a priority and mastered. Sleep plays a vital role in quality of life. More sleep leads to a greater quality of life, and vice versa. Make sleep a priority!
“If we all slept enough? Our healthcare burden would plummet, would have better mental health and fewer suicides…our business would be more productive, global economies would be healthier, our roads would be safer, and our children would be smarter…sleep is the very best health insurance policy you could ever wish for”
-Dr. Matthew Walker