Why Sleep Matters to Your Health

The importance of getting your ZZZs.

Catching Some ZZZs - In a national sleep survey released Dec. 26, 78 percent of people said they wear pajamas to bed and 74 percent admit to sleeping on their side. Forty-seven percent admitted to sharing a bed with someone who snores. (Photo: Getty Images/STOCK)

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It’s National Sleep Awareness Health Week - March 1-7 is National Sleep Awareness Health Week. Read more about why getting your ZZZs is important, the sleep gap among African-Americans and what we can do to sleep better every night. — (@kelleent) Kellee Terrell (Photo: Thinkstock Images/Getty Images)

Sleep on Your Back - Slumbering on your side or stomach may be good for preserving your hair, but it?s hell on your face. Why? Pressing it into a pillow all night can cause fine lines. Seriously ? turn over.  (Photo: Stuart O'Sullivan/Getty Images)

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What Sleep Does for You  - Sleep is so important for us. Sleep is our bodies’ way of healing and refueling. It also gives our brains time to process new information, strengthens our memories and is great for our mental health, productivity and mood. (Photo: Stuart O'Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Other Benefits - In addition to better overall health, sleep can give people more energy, which can improve their sex lives. Sleep is a natural pain reliever, which is great for people who suffer chronic pain. It also lowers our risk of physical injury and accidents such as car crashes, says Web MD. (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

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How Much ZZZs Should We Get? - In general, the National Sleep Association says that newborns (0-2 months) need 12-18 hours of sleep; infants (3-11 months) need 14-15 hours; toddlers (1-3 years) need 12-14 hours; preschoolers (3-5) need 11-13 hours; kids 5-10 need 10-11 hours; teens 10-17 need 8.5 to 9.5 hours and adults need 7-9 hours. (Photo: BFG Images/GettyImages)

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Blacks Don’t Get Enough Sleep - Past studies have found that African-Americans sleep less than others. We are more likely to work right up until we go to bed, lose more sleep over work, have more stress and money concerns than whites, are more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, are more likely to unintentionally fall asleep during the day, are more likely to be on medication for sleep issues and more likely to think we don’t need that much sleep to function. (Photo: Getty Images/Fuse)

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How Not Sleeping Can Harm You - Not getting enough sleep is not a game. It’s associated with serious health issues, including chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Lack of sleep can also alter your memory, cause accidents, increase your chance of gaining weight, cause mood imbalance and alter your ability to concentrate and be productive. (Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Trouble Eating and Sleeping - Is your friend extremely exhausted yet having issues sleeping? Has she lost a lot of weight because she doesn't have an appetite? While these are signs of depression and anxiety, they are also signs that someone might be suicidal.   (Photo: Getty Images)

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Insomnia - Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. A person with this sleep disorder can have one or all of the these symptoms: Difficulty falling asleep, waking up and then going back to sleep, feeling tired when waking up and waking up way before you need to. A recent study suggests that having a hyperactive brain may play a factor in why some people suffer from insomnia. (Photo: Getty Images)

Blacks, Snoring and Insomnia - Insomnia happens to many of us, including Rick Ross who has suffered from the sleep disorder, too. A 2011 study found that Blacks who snored more were more likely to have insomnia, worse mental health outcomes and more body pain compared to whites.(Photo: digitalskillet/Getty Images)

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Blacks, Snoring and Insomnia - Insomnia happens to many of us, including Rick Ross who has suffered from the sleep disorder, too. A 2011 study found that Blacks who snored more were more likely to have insomnia, worse mental health outcomes and more body pain compared to whites.(Photo: digitalskillet/Getty Images)

Obesity and Sleep Apnea - Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that blocks a person?s airway while they sleep, causing really loud snoring that can stop a person?s heart from beating and cause low blood oxygen levels, Health Central writes. People who are obese are more likely to develop this disorder. (Photo: B2M Productions/Getty Images)

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Obesity and Sleep Apnea - Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder that blocks a person’s airway while they sleep, causing really loud snoring that can stop a person’s heart from beating and cause low blood oxygen levels, Health Central writes. People who are obese are more likely to develop this disorder. (Photo: B2M Productions/Getty Images)

Black Women Have Less Success With Fertility Treatments - A new study shows that Black women undergoing in-vitro fertilization are half as likely to get pregnant when undergoing the procedure compared to white women: 17 percent versus 31 percent. It's unknown as to why this disparity exists.  (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images)

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Tips on Getting Better Sleep - Want to sleep better at night? Be easy on caffeine and liquor six hours before bedtime, keep your room dark and comfortable, don’t go to bed hungry or too full, don’t let distracting pets sleep in the bed, avoid naps during the day, exercise more often and try to not watch television or eat in bed at bedtime. (Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images)

Photo By Photo: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images