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Why is it important to get sufficient sleep?

Dr. Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine Specialist

Get adequate rest. Your body needs sleep to function properly. During sleep, the body repairs itself. Without sufficient sleep, needed repairs go undone, and the body is more likely to break down. Exactly how much sleep you need depends on you. Some people find that they need only five or six hours of sleep; others may need 10 or 11. Regardless of how much sleep you think you might require, the truth of the matter is that most Americans do not get enough sleep to function optimally. In addition, at least 40 million Americans suffer from insomnia or some other sleep disturbance.

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Your body needs time to rest and regenerate, and getting enough ZZZZs will give you more energy and make your waking hours more productive and enjoyable. Sleeping just two hours less than normal impairs your judgment and reaction time to the same extent as a blood alcohol level of 0.12. This level is 50 percent higher than the level at which most states say drivers are inebriated. And you need your sleep to prevent aging of your immune system. So, enjoy a full night's sleep every night. It can make your RealAge (physiologic age) at least three years younger.

Dr. William B. Salt, MD
Gastroenterologist

Science has confirmed that sleep deprivation is bad for your health. The most remarkable studies show that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to become obese, which predisposes them to development of metabolic syndrome. Sleep deprivation may also increase levels of stress hormones, raise blood pressure, contribute to allostatic load (bad stress), and increase levels of chemical transmitters responsible for increasing inflammation.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you don't get sleep, you'll crave other things like carbohydrates. Sleep will also generate growth hormone. That's that vitality hormone that makes us nice and bouncy and youthful and vigorous and makes us stay beautiful. The best way of getting growth hormone is to sleep the seven hours we speak of.

Do you have trouble making time for sleep or can't fall asleep? You need to change your routine!

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

Dr. Christopher E. Morgan, MD
Sleep Medicine Specialist

It is important to get sufficient sleep because sleep repairs and reorganizes the body’s neural circuitry. It promotes the removal of neural waste and toxins, consolidates memories and learning, rebuilds proteins and replenishes energy supplies.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

It is important to get sufficient sleep because chronic sleep deprivation is linked to poor health, a weakened immune system and impaired moods, judgment, safety and productivity. People who can't find a reason for sleep troubles should consider seeing a doctor about the poor quality or quantity of sleep. 

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.