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Why Your Body Needs Sleep

By Donna Stark

I appreciate all of those late nights with Netflix and a snack in my hand, but if I indulge in too many of them, in too short of a time period, my body is quick to let me know that it doesn't appreciate the appreciation I have for them at all. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one who gets "yelled" at by their body when sleep is low on the list of priorities. If you like to stay up late like I do, and are experiencing the side effects from doing so in the days after, you may want to curb that habit a little bit.

Go to Bed!

If you want to wake up refreshed, full of energy, and ready to take on the world, you need to get some serious shut-eye. Here's a list of reasons why sleep needs to be one of the top priorities in your life. Take a look.

  • Alertness - You would never consider driving a car or a piece of equipment after drinking alcohol, so why would you get behind the wheel and do so when you are beyond tired? Studies continue to show sleep deprivation can affect your alertness as much as drinking alcohol does. Play it safe and get your rest.
  • Information retention - Studying for a test? Trying to memorize a speech? Sleep helps to improve your ability to digest and remember the information in front of you. So go to bed or take a short nap ... it's the best way to be more effective at what you are preparing for.
  • Muscle repair - The time you sleep is the time that your body uses to rest, restore, and recover. Whether you are a fitness fanatic or a weekend warrior, it's important to get your rest. Sleep is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Stress reduction - Sleep is a powerful way to reduce the levels of stress in your life. It helps to calm the body, regulate moods, and decrease the levels of cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone.
  • Immune system function - Getting proper sleep can help your immune system function at an optimal level. Studies show that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus.

Wake Up Refreshed!

Although everyone may require a different amount of sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed, the general recommendation is to shoot for at least eight hours a night (more for children and teens). So go ahead and put down the remote or close your laptop, and get ready for some time well spent in dreamland.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla. 

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