Your biological internal clock, known as circadian rhythm, responds to light and darkness. When your activity does not correspond with sunlight cues, it throws off your circadian rhythm, causing your sleep to be disturbed. The extra hour helps with resetting your body’s exposure to sunlight.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important. If you are wondering how important, consider the risks associated with poor sleep and the benefits of good-quality sleep.
Risks from Poor Sleep
- Weight gain
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
Benefits from Good-quality Sleep
- Feeling better
- Looking younger
- Experiencing improved memory and concentration
- Feeling less moody and grouchy
While seven to nine hours is optimal for most adults, you can achieve big improvements in your sleep quality by practicing consistency, which is going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
If you are not currently doing this, try testing it. Make a point of going to bed and waking up at the same time for a couple of weeks. I did this several years ago. For two weeks, I went to bed at 11 p.m. every night and woke up every morning at 7 a.m. After five days, I felt like the last time I had slept so well was in middle school.
However, if you think you are getting enough good-quality sleep, but are still very tired, that is a signal for getting evaluated. Start by contacting your primary care provider who may be able to treat your sleep condition or recommend someone who can. The good news is that common sleep disorders can be treated.