The Importance of Sleep (P2)


In part one of the importance of sleep, we explored the science of sleep and looked at three ways that you can improve your sleep. In this blog, we will examine four reasons we should invest in getting the right amount of sleep each night.


 The recommended hours of sleep

According to the Sleep Foundation, these are the recommended hours of sleep for different age groups:

Age Range

Recommended Hours of Sleep


0-3 months old

14-17 hours


4-11 months old

12-15 hours


1-2 years old

11-14 hours


3-5 years old

10-13 hours


6-13 years old

9-11 hours


14-17 years old

8-10 hours

Young Adult

18-25 years old

7-9 hours


26-64 years old

7-9 hours

Older Adult

65 or more years old

7-8 hours


Reasons for getting the right amount of sleep

There are multiple health reasons and benefits to getting the right amount of sleep each night. Here are four insightful reasons to motivate you to invest in more sleep:


Impact on your weight

Something important to many of us is our weight, and many people don’t want to put on any additional pounds. Getting the right amount of sleep is vital in supporting us in this area. A 2020 analysis of 20 studies including 300,000 people on sleep duration and obesity in adulthood found that adults who slept fewer than 7 hours per night had an enormous 41% increased risk of developing obesity. Meanwhile, sleeping longer didn’t increase the risk. 

One of the reasons for this is how a lack of sleep impacts our eating habits. Research suggests it negatively affects hunger levels, influencing people to consume more calories from high fat and high sugar foods. A lack of sleep can also control our hunger hormone levels, increasing ghrelin (the hunger hormone that increases the drive to eat) and making you feel hungry. It also decreases leptin (the hormone that helps regulate energy balance) and inhibits hunger), making you feel full.

Getting enough sleep is paramount for helping you to maintain a healthy body weight!

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”William Penn


Improves your immune system

The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. Sleep provides essential support to the immune system, so getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep is crucial in enabling a well-balanced immune defence that features strong innate and adaptive immunity.

One study on The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease found that prolonged sleep deficiency (e.g., short sleep duration, sleep disturbance) can lead to chronic, systemic low-grade inflammation. It also showed that it is associated with various inflammatory diseases, like diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegeneration. 

Healthy sleep can help boost the immune system and can even help to prevent you from getting sick as often.

 “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together”Thomas Dekker


Strengthens the heart

Getting the right amount of sleep is fundamental to maintaining a healthy and robust heart. Each day, your heart beats around 100,000 times. The heart continuously pumps about five litres (eight pints) of blood around your body. This blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body to help your organs and muscles work correctly. Having a healthy heart is essential to your overall health and wellbeing.

One analysis of the Association between short and long sleep durations and cardiovascular outcomes reviewed 19 studies with 816,995 individuals with 42,870 cardiovascular disease mortality cases. They found that sleeping fewer than 7 hours per day resulted in a 13% increased risk of death from heart disease.

Researchers from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre in Athens looked at 11 studies with over a million participants. Their results suggest that sleep deprivation and excessive hours (more than 9 hours) in bed should be avoided for optimum heart health. They also linked getting a good night’s rest to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, which is the build-up of fatty plaques in the blood vessels supplying your heart.

“Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow.” –  Tom Roth


Improves concentration and productivity

Getting the right amount of sleep plays a crucial role in improving our concentration and productivity levels. While asleep, our brain is prepared for learning new things. When we are well-rested, we can embrace the new information we encounter in our daily experiences because sleep enables new knowledge to ‘stick’. The brain replays memories from the day during sleep, making the neural connections more robust.

According to one analysis on The Neuroprotective Aspects of Sleep, Sleep has improved memory recall, regulated metabolism, and reduced mental fatigue. It also highlighted that sleeping could clear the brain and help maintain its normal functioning. The brain reorganises and recharges itself and removes toxic waste by-products accumulated throughout the day. 

On the other hand, studies have revealed that a lack of sleep can have similar effects on the individual to being drunk. Getting a significant amount of sleep each night is essential for physical and mental health.

“God has made sleep to be a sponge by which to rub out fatigue. A man’s roots are planted in night as in a soil.”Henry Ward Beecher


Final Words

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things that you can do. According to WedMD, a host of severe health problems can arise due to chronic sleep loss, including heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. If you want to be healthy, focused and productive, then creating a healthy routine around your sleep habits is paramount!

I hope you found this blog helpful. Leave a comment below and let me know one thing you will take away.


Kind regards


Ezra AKA Voice of Reason

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published