Why Is Good Sleep So Important?

Updated August 27, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly L Brownridge , LPC, NCC, BCPC Counsel The Mind, LLC

The American Psychological Association explains that sleep is a critical factor in the health and wellbeing of individuals. On average, adults are advised to get around seven to nine hours of sleep per night; although, it’s not uncommon to fall short of this benchmark frequently. In many cases, adults have obligations that can complicate the process of getting good sleep each night.

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Many people do not realize just how important it is to get healthy sleep each night. Your quality of rest impacts your brain, emotions, and other parts of yourself that you rely upon throughout your waking hours. If you’re unsure why good sleep is so important, you’ll undoubtedly want to keep reading.

What Is Good, Healthy Sleep?

According to the National Institutes of Health, several factors determine whether you are getting healthy sleep. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night matters, as does sleeping and rising at around the same time every morning and night; this fosters consistency, getting your brain and body into a set pattern when it comes to sleep.

Additional behaviors that factor into getting healthy sleep include unwinding before bed, abstaining from large meals later in the day, and steering clear of lengthy naps. Even if you’re not used to following all the recommendations for good sleep, you can start with one or two areas in need of improvement. Another excellent pointer for healthy sleep is putting away electronics, such as phones, laptops, etc. as you unwind.

Five Reasons Why Good Sleep Is So Important

Knowing what constitutes as good, healthy sleep is great; but, understanding why good sleep is so important is also critical. Having solid reasons, information, and data can increase your likelihood of taking steps to ensure that you can fall asleep and sleep well each night.

Better Learning And Memory Skills

Believe it or not, your ability to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest plays a critical role in your learning and memory skills. The ability to learn new information, store recently acquired knowledge in your mind, and later recall that information can be improved or worsened by your quality of sleep, explains Psychology Today.

On a similar note, both short-term and long-term memory skills are adversely impacted by sleep deprivation. By contrast, when you fall asleep and get healthy sleep each night, you allow your brain to create more room in your learning centers to consume and retain new information. Needless to say, your learning and memory skills will significantly impact you in all aspects of your life. This is just one of several reasons why the ability to fall asleep and get a healthy night’s rest is so paramount.

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Physical Healing

Your brain and memory are not the only parts of your body that need time to heal and rest. Your external, physical body also needs to be able to unwind and take a break. Getting yourself to fall asleep and managing to get good sleep plays a critical role in this.

Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night can help your body reach higher levels of physical performance, retain more energy, and even maintain better coordination. Many of these benefits are things that we take for granted; however, their absence can be readily apparent when healthy sleep is habitually missing or lackluster.

Reduced Likelihood Of Depression

The ability to get healthy sleep when you fall asleep comes with a myriad of benefits, including a lessened susceptibility to depression. Granted, there are a series of factors that can foster or contribute to depression; however, when you get good sleep each night, this works wonders for your mental health.

Getting healthy sleep each night is certainly not the only necessary step to avoid depression. Although, when you combine good sleep with other healthy habits, you are only benefiting yourself. If you feel as though you might be dealing with depression, seeking professional help is strongly advised.

A Tougher Immune System

Your immune system plays a critical role in fighting off diseases, viruses, etc. Consistently getting a healthy night’s rest allows your body to heal, repair, and bounce back from the activities of your waking hours. In many ways, this relates to physical healing but also transfers over to your immune system.

A more robust immune system can only benefit you, both during your waking and sleeping hours. The body’s ability to fight off things like the common cold is something that many people take for granted or view as a given. For your immune system to remain in good shape, getting good sleep is a necessity.

Better Social Interactions

The quality of your interpersonal relationships and social interactions is significantly impacted by whether your body regularly gets sound sleep. Past research has shown that people who lack the proper amount of sleep have a tougher time taking note of happy and angry facial expressions. On an even more troubling note, a consistent lack of sleep can complicate the ability to take in emotional information and pick up on critical social signals.

It goes without saying that the quality of your social interactions has the power to impact your life on multiple levels. This is why making time for a good night’s rest is important, even if that means pressing pause on certain things or making rearrangements. Sleep is not a luxury but a critical necessity to living a healthy and productive life.

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Sleep Disorders You Need To Know About

Understanding what counts as proper sleep and why good sleep is such essential matters. Of equal importance is being knowledgeable about certain sleep disorders. If you consistently struggle with the ability to fall asleep and get a fulfilling night’s rest, you may be suffering from one of the following sleep disorders.

Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm

Individuals who are suffering from irregular sleep-wake rhythm struggle with sleeping during traditional times at night. Moreover, suffering from this particular sleep disorder extends to broken up patterns of sleep and complications with adhering to a set sleep schedule. Additional symptoms and indicators of irregular sleep-wake rhythm include the following:

  • Inability to sleep well
  • Constant tiredness during waking hours
  • Lack of patterns for sleeping or waking hours

It’s important to note that irregular sleep-wake rhythm is very rare, yet still maintain links to mental impairments, dementia, and brain damage.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is significantly different from irregular sleep-wake rhythm. It’s still a critical sleep disorder that you should know. People who are impacted by sleep apnea struggle with irregular breathing patterns. In essence, sleep apnea causes the impacted person’s breathing to stop and start routinely.

Sleep apnea interestingly is much more common than irregular sleep-wake rhythm. Men and individuals who suffer from obesity are more susceptible to this particular sleep disorder.

Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Excessive drowsiness during waking hours
  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing through the mouth while sleeping

If you believe that you are suffering from irregular sleep-wake rhythm or sleep apnea, seeking professional help from a licensed doctor is strongly urged.

Additional Resources For Advice and Counsel

Getting good sleep regularly is imperative for your mental, emotional, and physical health. This is undeniable, and yet, it is not uncommon for personal struggles to take a toll. Left unchecked, this can sometimes make it harder to get a healthy night’s rest and reap all the benefits of good sleep.

Everyone goes through tough times at one point or another. It’s important to remember that and not be too hard on yourself. Furthermore, it would be best to remember that access to additional resources for professional advice and counsel is available. Speaking and working with a counselor is linked to countless personal benefits; a few of many examples include better communication skills, closure to previously unresolved issues, etc.

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Online Counseling With BetterHelp

If you are interested in receiving professional advice, signing up for online counseling with BetterHelp is highly recommended. Unlike traditional counseling, working with a professional over the internet removes many common barriers to mental health services, such as scheduling conflicts, being in a certain location, etc.

When you work with a BetterHelp online counselor, we will make sure to agree on dates and times that are most convenient to you. If you’re frequently on the go or located in a remote or rural area, then the ease of working with an online counselor can indeed be an asset.

Whether or not you choose to partake in online counseling is up to you. With that being said, online counselors have changed many lives and continue doing so to this very day. When you work with an online counselor, you can count on having someone to listen to you, help you think, and provide worthwhile feedback.

It takes a lot to overcome challenges, setbacks, and other similar obstacles. Online counseling may not be an immediate, quick fix. However, this resource can help you build a better life and look forward to a more radiant future.

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