A restful night’s sleep affects every area of daily life; yet most people don’t realize how much sleep is required. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Infants, toddlers and school-age children require much more. Extending rather than decreasing the hours of sleep required daily may positively affect an individual with physical health, longevity, emotional well-being and beauty.
Human bodies produce extra protein when sleeping that helps to fight infections and strengthen the immune system. Increasing one’s sleep helps to repair cells that have been exposed to stress, pollutants and infectious bacteria. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, people often disregard the health consequences that result from insufficient sleep.
Scientists have recently identified the connection between inadequate sleep and diseases. Getting enough high-quality sleep is as important as eating well and exercising daily. Increasing your hours of sleep each day may help fight medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Oversleeping may not guarantee a longer life, however, it may maintain a body’s vital functions. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, during sleep, cells and tissues recover from daily wear with tissue repair, muscle growth and the creation of protein. Sleep experts conclude that those who maintain proper sleep patterns tend to live longer, feel better and sustain healthier and more productive lives.
Emotional well-being is often affected by sleep. Sleepless nights may make a person irritable, short tempered and susceptible to stress. Studies indicate that limited sleep evokes anger, sadness and mental exhaustion. Increasing daily hours of sleep improves the mood dramatically and balances emotional well-being.
Scott Counselling suggests that children who increase daily hours of sleep are happier and have sharper minds compared to those who do not get enough hours of sleep each night. Allowing children to oversleep on weekends helps them to catch up on necessary sleep. According to Scientific American, adding one or two additional hours of sleep each night over time may reimburse sleep debt for the sleep deprived.
According to sleepdex.org, beauty sleep is not fiction. During sleep the body cools and the circulatory system increases blood flow to skin cells. Cheeks flush and the severity of wrinkles lessens on the face and neck. As sleep occurs, growth hormones surge and help repair tissues that have been damaged from stress and ultraviolet rays.
Lack of sleep may bring on dark circles and dull the complexion. Oversleeping allows the skin to appear refreshed, rested and rejuvenated.
References and ResourcesThe Mayo Clinic: Adult Heath; Timothy Morgenthaler, M.D.
Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine: Sleep and Health
Scott Counselling: Sleep and Children, The Importance of Sleep for Children
Sleepdex: Beauty Sleep -- the Science
Scientific American: Can You Catch Up on Lost Sleep?