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Oftentimes, we underestimate the importance of good rest. Getting enough sleep isn’t a luxury or even a bonus- it’s a necessity to the health of your mind, body, and soul.

Without proper rest, our body will forcefully shut down eventually, and in the meantime, we will become paranoid and begin hallucinating.

Not getting enough rest can destroy your immune system, which is critical to your overall health. Without a healthy immune system, your body has a difficult time healing wounds, preventing infection, and fighting a life-threatening illness.

While we are sleeping, our immune system produces proteins that are called cytokines. Cytokines are important for preventing infectious diseases, and when we don’t get proper rest, we don’t create and release the right amount of these proteins.

In turn, it becomes harder for our bodies to fight against illness. Constantly running on a sleep deficit can cause an increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and also cardiovascular disease.

Sleep and our immune system are directly linked to one another. Having a viral infection can cause our body to have an immune response with effects our sleep, and sleeping the proper amount on a regular and consistent basis strengthens the immune system.

Sleep and immunity are intrinsically linked, and without proper rest, we become sick.

Less than 6-7 hours per day can cause a lower white blood cell count, decreases the production of cytokines, suppresses melatonin, and increase inflammation in the body. In turn, we become sick, tired, stressed, and mentally unstable.

While we each have different sleep needs, 7-9 hours is a good happy medium for most adults. To reach that, it helps to have an established sleep schedule and a bedtime routine that helps you wind down. Exercising daily (but not within 3 hours of when you are trying to go to sleep) also helps, along with cutting back on screen time before bed.

It can be easy to cut back on sleep to try to squeeze in more tasks in your day- but it’s best not to. The human body NEEDS adequate sleep.