You are not reaching your full potential if you aren’t getting enough sleep.
“[A good night’s sleep] is important for your health and who you are,” said Dr. Michael Twery of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
“Someone who is well rested has the capability to perform better, has better intrapersonal relationships. When this doesn’t happen people can become depressed,” Twery explained. Good sleep is important for emotions, motivation and even retention.
“Research has shown that when you sleep on what you practice you retain it and are able to better use it later,” Twery said.
Twery said not sleeping can lead to problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.
According to the Institute, sleep deficiency is linked to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, obesity and depression.
This is alarming because according to sleepfoundation.org, 20% of the U.S. population can be classified as having excessive sleepiness. Additionally, the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research reports 50 million to 70 million Americans as having chronic sleep disorders.
There are two types of insomnia. Primary insomnia can be caused by stress related to big life events or changes to your sleep environment that include noise, light, and temperature. Secondary Insomnia is when you have trouble sleeping because of a substance like caffeine or tobacco. This type can also be caused by a health condition like asthma, depression, anxiety, arthritis, cancer or heartburn.
“You might feel sleepy and you might not, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you are at a crisis stage because you feel the pressure to sleep,” Twery said.
Lindsey De Jesus, a student here at Seminole State College, said she only gets three hours of sleep a night.
“Three a.m. to four a.m. that’s the time where I have the decency to sleep, but it doesn’t give me enough time or energy because I have to wake up in three hours,” De Jesus said. “It has to be one of those days where I really cannot sleep.”
Twery said some people need more sleep than others, but he warns: “When someone is only sleeping four or five hours a night, you should be concerned.”
De Jesus said she suffers from epilepsy, anxiety and hereditary insom\nia. She recalls her experience with a sleep study done on her two years ago.
“The whole sleep clinic thing that was mostly for stress,” De Jesus said. She said her situation has improved. Before bed, she colors, listens to soothing music, reads a book, or even takes a walk.
Twery recommends keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep routine, and he said to visit your doctor.
“Sleep quality is your choice,” he said. “The responsibility is almost entirely on you. It is up to you to take care of yourself.”