According to WebMd, 50 to 70 million Americans are suffering from some sort of sleep disorder. There are many different types of sleep disorders. They include the inability to fall asleep, poor sleep quality, too little or too much sleep, or the inability to stay alert or awake.
Why do we need sleep anyway?
Yes, sleep is a need for our bodies, just like food and water. Our bodies regulate sleep in a similar way they regulate breathing, eating or drinking. That suggests that sleeping serves a critical role in our health and wellbeing.
“Although it is difficult to answer the question, ‘Why do we sleep?’ scientists have developed several theories that together may help explain why we spend a third of our lives sleeping.” – Health Sleep
Sleep is a life sustaining mechanism just like hunger and thirst. It was developed throughout centuries. However, why we actually need sleep is somewhat mysterious. Scientists have found many bodily functions correlated with sleep. Our body replaces old cells with new cells when we sleep. It saves us energy when we are inactive, and there is also co-relation between brain development and sleep in children.
Sleep & Immune System Health
It turns out that your mother knows best. If you don’t get enough sleep, you are more likely to catch a cold, or get sick more often. Not getting enough sleep can lead to poor immune system responses. Lack of sleep also stresses your health and can lead many physical and mental illnesses including an impaired immune system.
As we know, our immune system is designed to protect us from colds and other bacterial or viral diseases an impaired immune system would mean getting sick more often.
“A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived,” – Diwakar Balachandran, MD, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas
How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
Sleep is an indicator of good physical and mental health. Being able to sleep well shows that you are healthy and it also brings you good health. We spend up to one third of our lives sleeping, and getting enough sleep is a health concern for us all throughout our lives.
How much sleep do you really need? It’s not really easy to answer. Generally speaking very few of us get 7-9 hours of sleep daily. The need for sleep can vary with age and health condition. However, an average adult needs 7-9 hours of sound sleep daily to feel really rested.
Both, your age and lifestyle can impact your sleep pattern. It’s important to assess your lifestyle and also where and how you sleep to determine how much sleep you’ll need daily to stay healthy.
Studies have shown that sleep is an essential bodily function and a life-sustaining mechanism of our body, evolved throughout centuries. Our age, health and lifestyle can influence our sleeping patterns and requirements. Sleeping is also important for cell replacement and energy conservation when we’re not active. It’s also linked with brain development in children. Sleep deprivation can lead to many health problems and can impair immune system responses.
Hope this article will help you better understand your sleep needs and the relationship with your immune system. Get enough sleep every day. Try sleeping in the same place and same time, it has shown to help you get to sleep and feel better rested.
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Source: Alternative Health Concepts