How many hours of sleep did you get last night? More than eight hours, or less? It’s extremely common for children, especially high schoolers, to get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teenagers should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night. The CDC also states that 73% of students in grades 9-12 do not get that recommended amount. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night allows the body to repair itself for the next day and helps with short-term and long-term health.
When a person is sick or injured oftentimes their body requires more sleep. That’s because during periods of sleep the body repairs itself or heals in ways it cannot do while it’s fully awake. Blood vessels can repair and the immune system also gets stronger. When sleeping, certain hormones are released that allow muscle tissue to grow, helping to heal wounds and make muscles less sore. This is why it is so important for athletes to get enough sleep. White blood cells are produced while sleeping, which help the body overcome viruses or illnesses. When awake, the body has to work a lot harder to pump blood through the heart as well. Sleep also helps short-term health.
By getting the recommended amount of sleep each night, it is easier for the body to stay healthy day-to-day. Sleep allows the body to function properly. If someone’s body is running low on sleep, they will have low energy and oftentimes it will be harder for them to remember things. Many experts say that getting a good night’s rest before a big exam will produce better results than cramming late into the night. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), says that when not getting enough sleep you run the risk of microsleeping. Microsleeping is a brief moment of sleep that occurs when you’re normally awake. For example, when sitting in class and you zone out for a minute and don’t remember what the teacher said. Your body was trying to get you to go to sleep so it can rejuvenate and gain energy. Getting the right amount of sleep at night also helps with long-term health.
The right amount of sleep can help protect from developing many long-term health issues According to the HHS, there are many health problems that the right amount of sleep can prevent including, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and obesity. All of these are serious health conditions that are growing more and more common each year. Simply by getting the right amount of rest, it’s possible to help prevent developing one.
Getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night is beneficial to overall health. The right amount of sleep lets the body repair, helps short-term health and also prevents long-term health issues in the future. Dr. Robert Aronson, a Medical Director at Cardinal Sleep Disorder Center of America conducted a poll that showed it is more important now for people to make sleep a priority than ever said. Aronson says, “It affects health and daytime functioning. Sleep is not expendable, and Americans should focus on keeping a regular schedule and allowing enough hours of sleep.”