We all know that eating nutritious food and engaging in regular physical activity can lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle. But did you know there is another factor that is equally important but doesn’t always get the same amount of attention? There is, and it is getting enough sleep on a consistent basis. 

When you regularly get enough sleep (as in every night), you are doing a lot to support your health and well-being. First, you are positioning yourself to have the energy to have a positive, productive day. But that is not the only upside. Getting enough sleep is also necessary for our physical and mental health. The brain, cardiovascular system, mood, can all be thrown off balance if we do not make rest a priority. Even worse, a persistent lack of sleep raises the risk of diseases, stroke, obesity, and dementia. 

How Much Sleep Is Enough? 

How much sleep we need every night depends on our age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get seven to nine hours every night, teens get eight to ten hours, and younger children get anywhere from 10 to 14 hours per night. Infants and newborns need a lot more, as much as 17 hours every day. 

Sleep Is More Important if You Exercise 

If exercise is part of your life (and even if it is not), getting enough rest is essential to getting the most benefits from your workout. The time spent asleep is the prime time for our bodies to rest, recover, and repair themselves from physical exertion. Not to mention that inadequate sleep is associated with hormone and metabolic imbalances, and that can affect how we feel and our energy levels. 

Exercise Promotes Good Sleep Quality 

Adequate rest will help you get the most out of your workout, but your workout will also help you get a good night’s sleep by releasing endorphins and increasing body temperature. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, people who participate in 30+ minutes of moderate aerobic exercise can improve their sleep quality as soon as that same night. 

Wake Up With Us At the YMCA of Greater Whittier 

Make getting enough sleep each night a priority in your life. Not only will you simply feel good, but you will also be supporting your whole health and well-being. 

And when it is time to turn it up and get your workout in, join us at the YMCA of Greater Whittier. We offer a variety of programs in a fun, positive, family-friendly atmosphere. See what we are all about!