Why Sleep Matters
Today, people are sleeping roughly 20 percent less than they were a century ago. Although most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, 44 percent of Americans get fewer than seven hours of sleep on work nights.
Not getting enough sleep increases your risk for anxiety, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammatory disease, weight gain—especially around the belly—and a shorter life span.
Research shows that getting fewer than six hours of sleep per night for just one week affects the activity of more than 700 genes, including those that monitor metabolism, inflammation, immune function and stress responses. People who sleep fewer than seven hours a night before exposure to a cold virus are three times more likely to get the cold than people who sleep eight hours or more before the exposure.
Sleep also has a major influence on mood, attitude and outlook for people of all ages. People with insomnia are more than five times as likely to experience anxiety or depression than those without insomnia.