Most people are pretty good project managers. They juggle their daily schedules and manage to get an amazing amount of work done each day. Unfortunately, in this 24/7, “always on” world we live in, the one thing that seldom gets prioritized is sleep.

That matters because our bodies require 8-9 hours of sleep every night to maintain optimal health, and Americans average less than seven hours a night. It matters because getting enough sleep provides a whole raft of health benefits, including:

  • Bolstering your immune system – Sleep helps regulate all the body’s systems, including your immune system. Chronic sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, making your body less capable of warding off diseases. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can bet you’ll wind up taking more sick days than you otherwise would have.
  • Heart health – Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk for heart disease and tend to have higher blood pressure than those who regularly get a full night’s sleep. If you want to guard against these conditions, a good night’s sleep is a super simple way of doing so!
  • Brain defense – Not only does a good night’s sleep help ward off conditions like anxiety and depression; it also has the effect of flushing out the toxins that tend to build up in your brain during the course of a typical day. Both very good things.
  • Weight management – This comes down to simple math. The more time you spend sleeping, the less time you have to eat. If you’re prone to enjoying “midnight snacks” which invariably consist of sugar-laden foods, simply going to bed before snack time will do wonders for your diet and your weight.
    In addition to that, people who don’t get enough sleep have higher than average levels of ghrelin, which is the hormone that stimulates appetite. If you want to lose weight, get more sleep.

The bottom line is that sleep is extremely important to your overall health.  If you’re not getting enough, you can do wonders for your mind and body by remedying that.