In the high school population, an astounding 72.7% sleep less than the suggested amount. (1)
And while that might seem like the only thing it would cause is a little tiredness, as you’ll figure out as you read on, reduced sleep can potentially cause serious health issues.
As I’ve found from my limited life experience, everyone wants more sleep but thinks they don’t have time to get it. They’re “too busy” or “don’t have enough time.”
I hate to break it to you, but you don’t just “have time” to sleep-- you make time.
That’s another conversation, though.
In the meantime, let’s talk about a few important things:
How much sleep do you need?
What could happen if you don’t get enough sleep?
How do you improve the quality of your sleep?
How much sleep do you need?
An adult should get about 7-9 hours of sleep (although requirements vary a little by age range), while teenagers should get 8-10, and younger kids should get even more. (2) (3)
You’ve probably been told to “sleep 8 hours per night!” There are two things you can learn from this here and now:
I know it’s super hard to get to bed on time, but if you prioritize it and make time for it, getting in bed on time will become more of a habit than a struggle.
For more on that, check out this post.
The downside of not getting enough sleep
It’s easy to just get enough sleep when it’s convenient. Why would you bother to put in the effort to get an entire eight hours of sleep????
As it turns out, sleep is INCREDIBLY important for your health and wellbeing. When you get enough sleep, it helps your body to function more optimally, but when you don’t, it can have some serious consequences.
The potential benefits of getting enough sleep: (4) (5)
What could happen if you don’t get enough sleep: (6)
Diabetes and insulin resistance are prevalent in today’s society. Help fight it by getting enough sleep.
3. High blood pressure
Yet another reason to hit the hay.
4. Increased risk of death
Yikes! Better get that sleep in.
In my life, sleep is incredibly important for maintaining an optimal mood and keeping my anxiety in check.
6. Heart disease
Heart disease is a pervasive disease these days, and if we can do something to prevent it-- especially if it’s something like sleeping more, why not?
7. Decreased motivation
Lack of sleep can cause decreased motivation that can impede athletic performance. (7)
If you’re an athlete, this makes yet another reason for you to get your zzz’s.
How to improve sleep quality
Here are a few ways to improve sleep quality: (8) (9)
Make sure you check out my post on how to make a nighttime routine.
Products I love for sleep
Sleep is vital for your health, and if you’re not convinced yet, I don’t know what to tell you.
While in the moment, TV may seem more appealing than bedtime, the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and ALL THE OTHER THINGS make sleeping not sound so bad.
Think about it… sleep can solve a lot of problems through improving disease risk, sports performance, and just making you less TIRED.
In the end, if nothing else, go to bed because you need energy.
CDC. “CDC - How Much Sleep Do I Need? - Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” CDC, 2019, www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html.
Chaput, Jean-Philippe et al. “Sleeping hours: what is the ideal number and how does age impact this?.” Nature and science of sleep vol. 10 421-430. 27 Nov. 2018, doi:10.2147/NSS.S163071
Columbia Health. “Sleep | Columbia Health.” Health.columbia.edu, health.columbia.edu/content/sleep. Accessed 26 June 2021.
HealthEssentials. “How Even a Little Sleep Loss Hinders Your Athletic Performance.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 7 Jan. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/how-even-a-little-sleep-loss-hinders-your-athletic-performance/.
Mawer, Rudy. “17 Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night.” Healthline, 28 Feb. 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-tips-to-sleep-better#The-bottom-line.
Suni, Eric. “25 Facts about Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, 8 Feb. 2021, www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/sleep-facts-statistics.
Troy, David. “Healthy Sleep Habits.” Sleep Education, Aug. 2020, sleepeducation.org/healthy-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits/.
Worley, Susan L. “The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep: The Detrimental Effects of Inadequate Sleep on Health and Public Safety Drive an Explosion of Sleep Research.” P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management vol. 43,12 (2018): 758-763.