Sleep and Your Health

By: Courtney Warday, BS, Dietetic Intern

I don’t have time to sleep!

Sleep is often seen as a luxury when people feel pressed for time. However, research indicates that sleep plays a role in one’s productivity and quality of life.

Sleep is a restorative process for the brain, but it is also important for the whole body. Major restorative function that occurs almost exclusively during sleep includes muscle growth, tissue repair, and protein synthesis. A good night sleep is vital for good health and could also be a key to maintaining a healthy weight.

How much sleep is enough?

Ages 18+ need 7 – 9 hours each night.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation:

  • Increasing hunger: may alter hormones that control hunger, leading to increased energy intake.
  • Decreasing physical activity: sleep deprived people are always tired and tend to be less active.
  • Increasing risk for obesity: short sleep duration, sleep disturbances, and poor sleep quality are associated with increased obesity risk.
  • Decreasing memory: lack of sleep causes us to lose our ability to access previously learned information, focus optimally, and learn efficiently.
  • Increasing risk of diseases: may increase risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Did you know?
  • Chronic lack of adequate sleep is associated with a shortened lifespan.
  • Sleep deprivation can alter judgement, mood, motivation, and perception of daily events.

For more information contact: Pam Edwards, University Dining Services, [email protected], 402-472-9045.