Sleeping at least 7 hours per night reduces your risk of disease and strengthens your immune system.
If you think six hours of sleep is sufficient, think again. Research has linked sleeping less than seven hours with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. In fact, a good night’s sleep has many benefits, and a hormone known as melatonin has an important role to play.
Most people think of melatonin as your natural sleep hormone, and it is, but it’s also an antioxidant–which is another health benefit of getting adequate sleep. Your brain’s pineal gland produces and secretes melatonin in response to light signaled by the sun rise and sunset. However, in the modern world, the predominantly blue light of your phone, TVs and tablets suppress melatonin production affecting your sleep.
Sleep also strengthens your immune system. Research shows it’s harder for your body to ward off viruses when you don’t get enough sleep. One study exposed people to a rhinovirus after monitoring their sleep patterns. The subjects who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to develop symptoms of the common cold.