The Truth About Sleep and Your Health

Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? You’re not alone. Studies reveal that 1 in 5 adults in the US struggle to sleep every single night and half of US adults experience insomnia once a month or more. Missing out on the ‘zzz’s’ does more than cause grogginess the next day–it can impact your long-term mental and physical health. 


Sleep is a natural way for our bodies to recharge and repair. Experts confirm that 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye provides many benefits, including a strong immune system, a healthy weight, a balanced mood, and increased cognitive performance. Put simply, a person with more sleep under their belt will be able to concentrate at work, exercise more efficiently, and fight off diseases much more easily than someone who is sleep-deprived. 


Insomnia is not only undesirable–it’s downright dangerous. One study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Security showed that less sleep means a higher probability of a car accident. Fewer than five hours of sleep quadruples your chances of a crash! A lack of sleep can also cause heart complications. Your body releases higher levels of cortisol when you don’t get enough shut-eye, causing your heart to work harder and giving it less time to repair. The result? High blood pressure and potential heart attacks.

5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

So what do you do with sleepless nights? Experts say that it’s all about creating a healthy routine and sticking with it. Follow these five tips for a great night's sleep: 

  1. Limit caffeine and digital light. Both can wire us before bedtime. 

  1. Meditation and deep-breathing exercises calm the body and mind. These practices are ideal when you’re headed to bed.

  1. Plan out your day. We all have busy lives, but it’s important to make sure that we’re not creating bottom-heavy schedules that keep us from sleeping a full 7-8 hours.

  1. Natural sunlight is your friend. Research shows that a little bit of sunlight early in the day can help you fall asleep earlier and faster. 

  • Set a schedule. When you’re consistent, your body is better able to follow a sleep-wake cycle.

  • The final takeaway? Adequate sleep = overall health. Take care of your body and your brain by setting yourself up for sleeping success.

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