There are many studies about the importance of a balanced life style and sleep.
During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.
Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems and affect how you think, react, work and learn.
Studies has proved that a good night’s sleep improves learning. “Whether you’re learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.” (NHLBI)
On the other hand a sleep deficiency may affect making decisions, solving problems and controlling your emotions and behavior.
So, how much sleep is enough?
It depends on our age and life cycle. Below a general chart for different age groups:
Some people sleep more on their days off than on work days. This is something affecting your sleep-wake rhythm and a sign that you are not getting enough sleep.
Track how much you sleep each night, how rested you fell in the morning and how sleepy you fell during the day can be useful to know the causes of your diseases and to improve your sleep habits.
One interesting device that can help you is the Jawbone UP. A light bracelet that helps you track your daily activities and sleep.
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With a simple and easy to use app and a sophisticated internal software, the app, will tell you how and how much you have slept in a deep or light sleep.
Also, you can set up goals such as sleep time and smart alarm which will awake you in the ideal light sleep phase range.
The smart alert, in particular, is very useful and effective. You just need to set a time range to wake up ( for ex 20 min range from 8.10 t0 8.30) and UP will gently wake you up with a vibration at the best moment for your sleep.
That’s a good start to take care of yourself and to know how much sleep is enough!