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Why Sleep Well?

To be healthy:

Youth need more sleep than adults to aid them in growth and development. Yet, statistics show that youth are getting less sleep than they need. Sleep, defined by the state of decreased motion, mental rest and hormone changes, is necessary for growth, muscle development, effective healing and a strong immune system. It is also critical for the brain and mental health, as lack of sleep can lead to frustration or even depression. It can also trigger mania in those with bipolar disorder. Perhaps most underappreciated is that, "Chronic sleep loss may hasten the onset of several diseases," according Harvard researchers. Long-term health problems that have been linked incude heart disease, heartburn, chronic fatigue syndrome, impaired glucose tolerance and hypothyroidism; more research is necessary to understand the mechanisms by which these problems are related. The metabolic dysregulation resultant of sleep loss may contribute to becoming overweight. Sleep apnea, a specific sleep disorder sometimes related to snoring, can also cause heart and brain damage due to lack of enough oxygen during sleep. Lastly, many people are injured or even killed, especially in car accidents, due to lack of attention caused by sleep deprivation. Consistent and reasonable amounts of sleep is important, and under-appreciated, even by many doctors! About 60% of Americans report sleep problems, and 70 million have actual sleep disorders costing about 100 billion dollars in accidents and lost productivity.

To perform better:

Sleep is critical for attentiveness in the classroom and other situations. Sleep deprivation is often misdiagnosed as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and children are improperly treated with drugs, when all they need is more sleep! Sleep is also necessary for the effective memory formation, and youth that sleep well perform better in school than those which don't sleep enough. Sleep also helps athletes by aiding muscle repair and boosting energy levels.

To feel good and relax:

Lack of sleep causes mental confusion and generally makes people feel crummy. Few people disagree that consistent sleep (both sufficient amounts and a regular time schedule) improves mood. On the other hand, consistently too much sleep (i.e. sleeping in all day, etc.) can be a sign of depression, if simulateous with other symptoms.

To stay safe:

Lack of sleep is a major reason for car accidents and other accidents at home, work and school. A good nights rest helps people to Be Aware or their surroundings, and make good choices.

For fun with friends:

Youth who sleep well are less irritable and less reactive, which is critical for fostering good friendships. Being well rested also helps youth and adults have the energy to engage in physical activity and enjoy other social outings.


For More Information

Lack of Sleep Harms Children: Mental Health, Obesity...
National Sleep Foundation ABCs of ZZZs, and more...
Sleep Needs during Adolescence
ADHD and Lack of Sleep
Sleep Apnea and Overweight in adults, for Children
Lack of Sleep in Modern Society
Women and Sleep, Stats
Lack of Sleep and Driving
Lack of Sleep Causes Medical Errors; Harms Young Docs
Sleep Disorder Site Listings with Quality Ratings
Sleep Quiz
Sleep and REMs Science
Circadian Rhythms (Sleep Wake Cycle) Science
Sleep Forum for Sleep Disorder Professionals



How to Sleep Well

Specific Guidance for:

Pregnant Mothers
Infants and Toddlers
Middle/High School
Sleep Apnea

Copyright: Prescription for Sleep

Coach K Drive to Fitness

Additional Help

Guide to Good Sleep
12 Steps to Good Sleep
Specific Tips for Parents
How to Get Consistent Sleep
Daytime Sleepiness Test
Sleepiness Rating, Part 2
Sleep Diary
Less Caffeine and Soda
Change School Start Times
Prevent Drowsy Driving
Sleep Disorders and Tips
Signs of Sleep Disorders
Find a Sleep Lab
SleepQuest (for Disorders)

Sleep is a critical part of life. Early in life, it may seem like an annoyance, with life being so full of things to do. But, later in life, with pressures from school or work, the desire for sleep can be overwhelming, because it is critical for your body. Some people think that being able to go without sleep is a test of toughness. Certainly, staying awake is a good test of will power, and spontaneous activities late into the night are also also a fun part of life. On average, however, those who get consistent and balanced sleep (not too much, not too little, regular schedule) outperform their peers physically and mentally, and also have a higher quality, if not quantity, of wakeful hours.


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