Why You Need Your ZZZs

Last Updated March 1, 2024

Sleep is an essential ingredient to a healthy life. Getting enough quality sleep can help protect your mental and physical health, overall quality of life, and even your safety.

The way you feel when you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. 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.

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are clear:

When you’re well-rested … When you don’t get enough sleep …
You feel alert. You can’t function at your best.
You think more clearly and focus better. You are less productive.
Your learning and problem-solving skills are enhanced. You might find it more difficult to make decisions, solve problems and pay attention.
Your mood is improved. Your risk of developing depression increases.
Your immune system is strengthened. You increase your risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes and infections.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Personal needs vary, but on average, adults need seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night.

Sleep and Exercise: A Positive Connection

There’s an important relationship between sleep and exercise. Research has shown that exercise leads to better-quality sleep, which leads to increased energy and vigor. People who are well-rested and energized are more likely to exercise, which leads to another good night’s sleep, and so on.

If you’re not sleeping well, try getting 30 – 40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least four times a week. And if you’re having a tough time finding the energy to exercise, try improving your sleep habits.