Importance of Sleep and a healthy life
Sleep is an integral part of our ability to function at our fullest capacity. We can all relate to needing a cup of coffee in the morning or feeling groggy after a late night but a poor night’s sleep might be more impactful than we realize. While everyone knows that the ideal amount of sleep is 8 hours a night, very few of us actually get that and end up operating on suboptimal levels of sleep. Being able to go through full sleep cycles of sleep without waking up is important for your body’s ability to recover and process memories.
Sleep is starting to become a part of a more holistic view on what it means to be healthy (Chaput, 2019). Canada has begun to revamp their public health policies to address the lack of sleep in its population – especially in adolescents (Chaput, 2019). It’s estimated that one-third of children are not meeting the recommended amount of sleep which significantly impacts their ability to perform academically, their health, and their safety (Chaput, 2019). Often, kids can be overloaded with demanding schedules like pressure for academic performance, extracurricular activities, and work around the house (Gruber, 2019). As a result, sleep is not prioritized and is pushed to the side. However, lack of sleep causes the activities they perform to be performed at a lower rate of success (Gruber, 2019).
These issues aren’t just present in kids, though. Adults experience all of the same things. They get overloaded with busy lives that involve work, social life, dating, extracurricular activities, and health maintenance while sleep falls well below physical fitness and nutrition as far as what people prioritize in their health (Johnson, 2018). Even employers are finding that their employees are less productive when they are not getting quality sleep (Johnson, 2018). 65% of Americans acknowledge that getting enough sleep makes them more effective and productive the next day yet only 10% of Americans prioritize good sleep over other activities (Johnson, 2018). Lower sleep quality results in lower alertness, impaired decision-making, lower memory cultivation, and a lack of motivation (Johnson, 2018). Employees with poor sleep are even more likely to report dissatisfaction with their job and often feel like they have less personal control over their work (Johnson, 2018). All this results in a significant decrease in productivity and it’s estimated that America’s GDP is lowered by 2.3% (that’s $410 billion) every year just due to the resulting ineffectiveness of workers because of poor sleep quality (Johnson, 2018).