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Sleeping to Win: 3 Important Reasons to Get More Sleep

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 at 10:46 am under Play Hard.

Courtesy of Flickr

Happy hour that turns into a happy five hours.

A midnight movie that you’ve probably seen once or twice.

A hot game of Words with Friends that ends after three rematches.

These distractions may seem like an OK idea at the time, but there are few things in this world more refreshing (and precious) than a great night’s sleep– preferably several nights in a row. Despite the importance of sleep for healthy immune function, tissue repair, and sanity more than 150 million Americans suffer from self-reported sleep related problems each year.

The next time you consider skimping on dream time, consider the following morsels of sleep related wisdom.

Chocolate covered raisins, anyone? If you’ve noticed that on days where you’re slapping yourself in the face to stay awake that your appetite for the strangest things (and food in general) increases, have no fear because you’re not alone. Recent research has shown that there is definitely a link between lack of sleep and food cravings, so by getting enough quality snooze time you can increase your dietary compliance and fight the good fight against the bulge, and the health risk factors that come along with weight gain such as hypertension and diabetes, all at the same time.

Lose your sleep, lose your job. No matter what work environment you’re in, the amount of sleep you’re getting can play a direct role in your workplace performance. Those who are consistently missing out on quality zzzz time are more likely to make workplace errors, display irritability and nod off during meetings. In a competitive global job market you want to make sure that you’re constantly putting your best foot forward, and a lack of sleep is a surefire way to get noticed – for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t forget Grandma’s birthday! A lack of sleep makes it more difficult to take short term memories and transfer them into long term storage. On an even more alarming note, a sleep deprived mind is more prone to process and capture memories that have negative emotions attached to them at the expense of more positive ones, which could be a potential trigger in the onset of depression.

The Big Question:
What are some of the reasons are you aren’t getting enough sleep?

Further Resources:

CDC: Sleep Statistics
How Stuff Works: Sleep Basics