Genes And Sleeping: The Importance Of Getting Enough Sleep.

Research has shown that getting enough sleep is vital for overall health. When people get enough sleep, they are happier, healthier, and function better in whatever task they do. Unfortunately, many people are unable to get the amount of sleep they need each night. Young people, especially, have a hard time getting enough sleep.

Today’s youth face a series of issues that make getting enough sleep difficult. Employers want employees to work longer hours, and young people in college now receive more school assignments than ever. Long work hours, intense studying sessions, and late-night partying all lead to a lack of sleep. Most young people think they can make up for poor sleep on the weekends, but that is not always the case.

Is poor sleep really harmful?

According to a study by the Surrey Sleep Research Centre in the United Kingdom, sleep actually alters the functioning of our genes. Too-little sleep interferes with the proper functioning of over 700 genes in the body that regulate the immune system, stress responses, the metabolism, and overall functioning of the brain. A period of poor sleep actually leads to additional poor sleep in the future, as too-little sleep also impacts the quality of sleep that you get and disrupts normal sleep/wake cycles.

The ideal amount of sleep:

While the exact amount of sleep that each person requires a night varies from person to person, the study conduced by the Surrey Sleep Research Centre showed that anyone who received less than six hours of sleep each night was at risk for the unwelcome effects on the genes and other functions of the body. In fact, people who regularly sleep less than five hours a night have a 15 percent higher chance of death from any cause. In general, most people function best with at least six hours of sleep per night.

How to improve sleep length:

In extended periods of reduced sleep, the body adjusts to the smaller amount of sleep. In fact, people who usually sleep less than six hours a night have a difficult time sleeping more than six hours. However, the issue can be fixed. The best way to start sleeping more is to create a nighttime ritual that gets your brain relaxed and ready for sleep. In the same way that children thrive on bedtime routines, adults function better with set bedtime and routines as well.

Genes And Sleeping: The Importance Of Getting Enough Sleep.Start a sleeping ritual at night with relaxing activities like drinking a warm drink, relaxing in bed, having a hot bath or shower, and other relaxing activities. Perform the same activities each night and your body will soon associate the activities with rest, and you will start sleep longer. If necessary, buy bed or bedding that is more comfortable to prepare for rest.

Getting enough sleep is essential for proper brain and gene functioning. Anyone that gets fewer that six hours of sleep each night is increasing their risk of health problems and gene problems. Luckily, the solution is as simple as adding more sleep hours to your day.


This is a guest-post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a part-time guest blogger and a full-time health specialist. When she is not working she likes to go hiking and discover hidden and untouched places around the globe.

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