Challenge Day 16 – Get six to nine Hours of Sleep Each Night

by Dr. Rachael

by Dr. Rachael

Table of Contents

Sleep is more important than you could possibly imagine!! Mom stressed it when we were kids because she knew that kids grow in their sleep, and now as an ‘adult’ I bet she has no idea you stay up into the wee hours of the night on FB, IG, reading, or watching TV. In college it’s a badge of honor to have not slept, ‘I only slept two hours last night, I’m ready for this test!!’ Little do students realize that a good night’s sleep will probably yield higher test scores than sleepless nights ever would…This information could’ve saved me!

Of course you look better when you’ve had a Rip Van Winkle-type of night, but there are so many other benefits that outweigh physical appearance!

Before I dive into all of the health problems you risk from being sleep deprived , it is important to mention that studies show memories are stored, and problems are solved while we sleep. When you spend part of your day acquiring new information, studying for a test, learning a new language, theorizing on how to save the world, or even learning how to play the guitar, sleep allows your brain to actually store and process that information as a tangible long-term memory so you don’t forget what you just learned. Have you ever noticed that something one day seems like a hugely unsolvable problem, but after a night’s rest, you wake up with a completely different perspective? You have answers!!

When you pull an all nighter, pushing the caffeine

When you pull an all nighter, pushing the caffeine and barely sleeping for more than an hour, your brain doesn’t get the chance to sort through and store that information as a long-term memory. Two weeks later when you try to remember and cannot, you start to doubt yourself.

Sleep also plays a critical role in immune function. Think about it…the last time you were sick was it during a period where you weren’t getting much sleep? People who don’t sleep tend to have poorer diets, a lower sense of well-being, have more sickness in the lifetime, die earlier, and as we age poor sleep quality has also been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. In fact, lack of sleep has been shown to increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, depression, stroke, hypertension, and obesity

Lack Of Sleep Can Make You Fat

People who sleep less than four hours a night feel hungrier, crave more sweets and salty foods, and eat more calories than those who sleep longer. Sleep longer so you can cut those cravings! In a 7-year study of 7,022 middle-aged people, researchers found that women who reported sleep problems were more likely to experience a major weight gain.

Lack of Sleep Makes You Accident Prone

‘Local sleep’ is where part of your brain nods off while you are awake. You are walking, talking, and moving about, but are prone to make mistakes because part of your brain is literally sleep.

Lack of Sleep Makes You Sick

Besides making it easier for you to catch a virus because your immune system is compromised, years of sleepless nights can contribute to chronic illness.

Lack of Sleep Can Make You Dumb

Your brain needs REM sleep to process information. If you shave off your sleeping time by a couple hours your brain doesn’t have enough time in REM sleep to store memories or to help solve problems.

You Burn Less Calories When You Are Sleep Deprived

A group of men slept 12 hours one day and ate a huge breakfast. The next day researchers didn’t allow them to sleep at all and fed them another large breakfast. They measured their energy expenditure or metabolism both days. When they slept their metabolism was much higher than when they didn’t

So on this day and every day of the #30DaySuccessChallenge Sleep 6-9 hours each night. Thank me later!!

Article by

Rachael L. Ross
MD, PhDAs a family doctor and a sexologist.

Dr. Rachael Ross has been heralded as “The next Dr. Ruth, the nationally renowned sexual therapist who pioneered frank sex talk.” Chicago Tribune. Dr. Rachael earned her M.D. from Meharry Medical College and her Ph.D. from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, along with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, where she studied anthropology.

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