Don’t Skimp on This Critical Part of Good Health

Got-SleepWe need sleep to think clearly, react quickly and create memories.  In fact, the pathways in the brain that help us learn and remember are very active when we sleep.  Studies show that people who are taught mentally challenging tasks perform them better after a good night’s sleep.  Other research suggests that sleep is needed for creative problem solving.

Skimping on sleep comes with a price.  Cutting back by even one hour can make it tough to focus the next day and can slow your response time.  Studies also find that when you lack sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more risks.  This can result in lower performance on the job or in school and can also put you at a greater risk for a car accident.

Sleep affects mood as well.  Insufficient sleep can make you irritable and is linked to poor behavior and trouble with relationships, especially among children and teens.  People who chronically lack sleep are also more likely to become depressed.

If poor sleep is an issue for you, talk with your doctor about healthy sleep practice that can help you get a better night’s shut-eye.

–Source: National Institutes of Health