Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Chapter 3 Getting the Sleep You Need 67 S anjay is 12 years old and rarely gets 10 to 11 hours of sleep, the recommended amount for his age group. He has to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to get to school on time. He also likes to stay up late at night because this is when his favorite TV shows air. When he tries to go to bed, it takes him a long time to fall asleep. Sanjay knows he is sleep deprived. He has a hard time paying attention in class and maintaining his energy during football practice. He has been getting sick more often, too. Sleep is an important process that his body needs each night. Without sleep, Sanjay’s body is unable to heal or rest after performing daily activities. This can pose serious risks to his health and lifestyle. In this lesson, you will learn why sleep is so important to your overall health and wellness, and how much sleep you need based on your age. You will also learn about the processes in your body that influence sleep. Finally, you will learn about the effects of not getting enough sleep. Why You Need Sleep How did you feel when you woke up this morning? Did you spring out of bed to face the new day, feeling completely refreshed and rested? Did you hit the snooze button a few times before crawling out of bed, dragging yourself to school, and nearly nodding off in class? How much sleep you get can affect your overall health and wellness (Figure 3.1). If you felt completely refreshed, you likely got an adequate amount of sleep. This means that you got enough sleep to function properly throughout the day. If you find yourself falling asleep in class, however, you likely got an inadequate amount of sleep. This means you did not get enough sleep to function. Insufficient is another term for inadequate. A person who is sleep deprived gets inadequate amounts of sleep. Sleep is a complex process. During sleep, the body is unconscious, or inactive, but the brain remains very active. Some scientists think that your brain sorts through stress and information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems during sleep. Why Is Sleep Important? Enhances learning Promotes emotional well-being Helps fight common infections Supports healthy growth and development Increases productivity Reduces chances of accidents occurring Figure 3.1 Regularly getting enough sleep can benefit your health and wellness in many ways. What is the term for a person who gets inadequate amounts of sleep?