Sleep is important for overall health and well-being, yet many people have trouble getting good sleep. Sometimes this is due to insomnia and other issues, and other times, it's the result of poor sleep habits and/or not prioritizing sleep.
Getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night on a regular basis can provide many benefits. These include:
- Lower levels of baseline stress and more resilience in coping with stressors
- Better mood and improved ability to tolerate and cope with the ups and downs of life that can impact mood
- Healthier heart and cardiovascular system
- Improved memory and focus
- Better control of body weight
Read more in this handout on the benefits of sleep.
One aspect of contemporary life that impacts sleep is our heavy use of electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Staring at electronic screens right before sleep turns out to be a lot worse for us than previously thought. Dr. Dan Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, explains some of the negative effects of bedtime screen viewing on the brain and body in this short video.