You've heard it before, but I wanted to make sure you're actually listening: getting the proper amount of sleep is vital to maintaining your health! What's the proper amount? Seven to eight hours a night is generally considered to be the optimal amount, but probably more important is not to get less than six a night for too long a period of time. Yes, there are times when circumstances prevent us from cuddling with our pillows as long as we'd like, but chronic sleep deprivation can have some nasty consequences. Here are a few:
1. Metabolism and weight can be negatively affected by chronic sleep deprivation. In layman's terms: not enough sleep can make you fat.
2. Your cardiovascular health can be profoundly impacted by lack of sleep. Studies have shown links between severe sleep disorders and increased stress hormone levels, hypertension, and even irregular heartbeat.
3. Your immune system needs sleep to function at its highest level. Sleep deprivation alters your immune function, including the activity levels of white blood cells.
As an athlete, proper amount of sleep is so important that one study showed that one night of sleep deprivation (two hours less than your average) can affect athletic performance to the point that it would be equal to performing while having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .05. Counting more sheep tonight will have you counting more reps tomorrow!
The floor is lava!
posted by Commish