| Are You Getting Enough Zzzz's?
Sleep deprivation can affect the immune system, keep the nervous system from working properly, and prevent the brain from exercising important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity. One study even found a decrease in response to the flu vaccine in young people who were immunized four days after sleep restrictions. Other studies also suggest that activity in parts of the brain that control emotions, decision making, and social interactions is reduced.
Healthy sleep is just as important as good nutrition and exercise. Healthy sleep promotes physical and emotional well-being, improves your memory, keeps you focused, and keeps you alert and safe. People who get enough sleep tend to be able to fight off infections, maintain a healthy weight and have a lower risk for heart disease. They are also better able to manage the stress of their busy lives, think clearly, and focus on school or work.
People of different ages need a different amount of sleep. For example, babies do not have regular sleep cycles until they are about 6 months of age. Babies can sleep as many as 16-17 hours a day, but only do so 1-2 hours at a time. Children need about 9-10 hours of sleep her night, while adults are also supposed to get between 7- 9 hours of sleep per night
So are you getting the sleep you need for good health and quality of life? See how you fare on this quiz!
Reviewed by Jill Weissberg-Benchell, Ph.D., CDE 08/14